A new flagship-calibre tablet hit the market today as Asustek Computer Inc. (Asus) announced the release of its new ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA device in Canada and other markets.
The new ZenPad is an Android-powered tablet with a 7.9-inch display offering a 2048 x 1536 resolution with IPS technology. Asus is marketing the device as a premium-tier tablet that would be suited for entertainment tasks. Asus has its own suite of VisualMaster technologies designed to enhance the screen’s appearance, with the aim to provide as realistic an image as possible. The audio is backed by DTS technology and the rear camera offers 8 MP stills with a special low-light mode.
Asus offers a tweaked user interface on its Android tablets with its ZenUI. Asus says there are 1,000 features added on top of Android with this UI. One of the most notable is the ability to launch different apps by swiping specific custom gestures on the screen.
In launching a new flagship-level tablet, Asus is by no means guaranteeing itself a commercial success. The tablet market has been shrinking for the past two quarters, according to analyst firm IDC Corp. IDC’s WorldWide Quarterly Tablet Tracker registered a 5.9 per cent decline in the first quarter of 2015, and that number includes two-in-one devices.
The tablet market is dominated by device-making powerhouses Apple Inc. and Samsung Corp., holding 26.8 per cent and 19.1 per cent of the worldwide market share respectively, according to IDC. Asus meanwhile is in fourth place at 3.8 per cent, behind Lenovo and losing market share compared to its 5.2 per cent share in Q1 of 2014.
So how does this flagship tablet hold up to the competition of Apple’s iPad mini 3 and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S? We decided to compare the specs in this Google Spreadsheet: