Friday, January 15, 2016

The Power of Zen at my Family's Fingertips - The Asus ZenPad 7.0 Tab

As a family, we are all gadget freaks. My mother is one because my dad has always kept her involved in all his buys and discoveries for the last 35+ years, me and my brother because we possess the genes and the curiosity :), Prateek is one because he is married to me ;-), and Aryaa at the end of the day is born in the digital age. 2016 began with a new addition to our family of gadgets. The Asus ZenPad 7.0 Tab made its way into our house nearly 5 years after the last tablet had been bought, and we all discovered the convenience of using a smaller tablet. Over the course of the last 10 days, it has become a 'Family Tab' which means that it's used by the entire family but for different things that please each one of us. Each one of us have different uses for it during different parts of the day and that kind of syncs in perfectly with our lives.

The ZenPad 7.0 Tab's day starts really early at 6 am with my mother. She likes to sit on the terrace, enjoy the fresh air and read the latest news to keep herself updated on whats the latest in politics, finance, economy and gossip ;-).

As the light starts to increase from 6 to 7 am, the Tru2Life feature detects different lighting conditions and automatically adjusts the display to make it easy for her to view even when the outdoors gets brighter. The reflection of the sun does not bother her reading as the contrast and backlight enhancement makes the text much easier to read. She also uses the Bluelight filter which reduces eye fatigue by reducing the blue light emission by around 30% without disturbing the rest of the colour balance and provides a more soothing reading experience. Infact she makes sure we never switch this feature off.

After the early morning news feed, the ZenPad 7.0 Tab rests while my dad finishes his morning exercise. My father is an ardent music lover and post his exercise session, uses the tab for playing some of his favorite tracks while he reads the newspaper and sips his cup of tea.

The tab comes with DTS-HD Premium sound built in but the icing on the cake is the CA71 ASUS Audio Cover which you can additionally buy with the tab and snaps simply onto the rear of the device. The single strip speaker is a six in one, incorporating four Main speakers, one Center and one Subwoofer and delivers sound in an upward direction. The audio cover has its own battery life of upto 6 hours, acts as a protective cover and helps the tab to stand neatly on a flat surface in landscape mode. My dad has been enjoying the audio output from the audio cover but is still deciding if it is more convenient than using his Bluetooth speakers. Nevertheless it has given him one more option for portable music.

It's then time for Aryaa and Aryaa's mumma to reach Nana Nani's house. Her arrival is dance time in the Verma household and my dad ups the volume of the ZenPad 7.0 Tab and puts on her favourite songs, the most favourite one at the moment being 'DJ Waley Babu'. Aryaa is at a stage where she is very curious and the dancing is accompanied with trials to touch the screen and scroll items up and down. That's why we tap the Kids Mode on before putting on her music as it is a safe mode for children when using the tab. It has a browser with filtering and parental controls plus PIN codes to prevent access and you can even set a time limit on their usage. While right now we use it so that she doesn't delete anything by mistake, for the future it is going to be very useful when we want to prevent her from searching for games or coming across unwanted content. We don't let her spend too much time on the tab anyway because we don't want to encourage the use of gadgets so soon.

It's not possible for me to switch on my laptop till Aryaa shuts eye for her afternoon nap cause she otherwise wants to sit on my lap and bang away on the keyboard and that is when the tab comes to my rescue for those few hours. I generally check my emails, have my skype/hangout video calls, click pictures of new stuff that have come in my mail and check up/post on my social media in that time. I love making movies for my projects, of Aryaa and of other stuff that I have clicked for social media or for sharing with family and the MiniMovie app with pre-installed templates is perfect for making instant movies. Once Aryaa sleeps, I sit to work on my laptop and for me my usage of the tab is limited to those few hours. However there are days when I have wound up work early or have relatively less work and on those days, I use the tab to watch YouTube videos and some of the movies downloaded by torrent ;-) The 17.7 cms display area along with the VisualMaster feature that gives superior viewing quality without tiring the eye and the audio cover for amazing sound makes video watching a pleasure. One afternoon after working on the tab, I watched 2 movies of 90 minutes each back to back and still had battery left for the evening.

The tab has two PixelMaster cameras - the Rear Camera is 8 mega pixel in quality and has auto-focus while the Front Camera is 2 mega pixel. The multiple effects are similar to that of the Asus ZenFone 2 Selfie and the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. While the rear camera is good especially in the HDR mode, after using phones from Asus earlier, the front camera leaves you wanting for more as the pics turn out very grainy until and unless there is a decent amount of light around you.

Thanks to the compactness of the ZenPad 7.0 Tab, nowadays a lot of times when I have short meetings, I ditch the laptop and just carry the tab as it serves the purpose of jotting down whatever little I need to while I carry on with the rest of my work on it side by side.

Finally the day ends when PS gets back from work and surfs the web for a while before settling down with Aryaa to watch her daily dose of  her latest fix 'Gerua'. She simply loves the song and she will stop whatever she is doing if either me or PS calls out to her and ask her if she wants to watch the song. I guess she takes after her mother when it comes to her love for Bollywood and Shahrukh Khan. The song actually soothes her and is her got to sleep song. Once she is in sleepy mode, we whisk her off home while her Nana puts the tab to charge, as the day for the ZenPad 7.0 Tab will start again at 6 am and it has to be ready to run through the day.

For the price of INR 14,999 with audio cover and INR 11,999 without audio cover, the ZenPad 7.0 Tab with a storage of 16 GB is a handy device and as you can see is being quite helpful. It wins on the display aspects for me – intelligent, senses the surrounding lighting and adjusts the display, and is eye friendly. My take is that it is a good buy and for the kind of usage that my family has, has great features worth the price. If you have a requirement that is similar, then the ZenPad 7.0 Tab is highly recommended.

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