Tablets not named "Surface" or "iPad Pro" have hit a rough patch, especially Android models, but that isn't stopping Asus from updating its ZenPad family of slates. Two new ZenPads will be arriving soon that offer an array of features that put the emphasis on the user's experience rather than the latest and greatest in hardware.
The 8-inch ZenPad Z380M and 10-inch ZenPad Z300M offer modest specs -- MediaTek quad-core processors, 1GB or 2GB of RAM, and either 8GB or 16GB (Z380M) or 16GB or 32GB of (Z300M) of built-in storage -- including pedestrian screen resolution (1,280x800). So Asus hopes that its other features can compensate for the ordinary components.
The Z380M includes Corning Gorilla Glass screen protection, though, curiously, its bigger sibling does not. Both new ZenPads receive an updated ZenUi that the company says will improve on the standard Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) interface. They also feature Asus' PixelMaster technology that enhances images from the ZenPad's 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with HDR and wide-angle panoramic capabilities.
Asus is also trying to compensate for the new ZenPads' lack of ultra high-resolution screens with a slew of display enhancements, promising sharpness optimization and intelligent contrast adjustment via its Tru2Life technology, which is part of the company's VisualMaster suite of display optimizing features. To please the ears as well as the eyes, Asus adds DTS Headphone: X virtual surround and DTS-HD Premium sound tech to enhance the ZenPad's audio output.
Despite having product pages on the company website, the Z380M and Z300M haven't received official pricing and availability announcements yet, though Asus may be waiting for the upcoming Computex event to disclose that information. Given the new ZenPads' lack of premium hardware features, you can expect price points similar to other mainstream Android tablets.