ASUS has just announced that it has launched the MeMO Pad, a 7″ Android tablet priced aggressively at $149 in the U.S market. MeMO Pad runs on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and offers full-support for Google Play and the Android eco-system, unlike competing affordable tablets from Amazon.

The ASUS MeMO Pad is powered by a VIA VM8950 processor running at 1GHz, which is supplemented by a Mali-400 graphics processor. This graphics processor was used by high-end smartphones just one year ago, so it’s really good for a $149 device. We’re looking forward to benchmarking the VIA VM8950 to see what kind of performance/price ratio it offers.The 7″ display has a resolution of 1024×600, which is in the low-end of the display spectrum, but given that this is the most expensive component of the system, we can’t say that we’re surprised by this choice. It has a 140-degree viewing angle, which is clearly not as good as the IPS 178-degrees, but it should be sufficient for a single user facing the screen.

Storage-wise, there are 8GB of internal storage, but ASUS has included a microSD slot (32GB max), so it fares better than the Nexus 7 in that regards. ASUS also provides 5GB of online storage for free, so this is a great start if you’re not on board with ASUS WebStorage yet.

In terms of connectivity, this is a WIFI (B/G/N) device, and you will find the classic micro-USB connector and 3.5mm audio jack. Nothing out of the ordinary here. There is no GPS, but a motion sensor is available for games etc…

Design-wise, this is a cousin of the famous Nexus 7, and we wonder how it feels to hold it with that textured back. For sure, the grip has to be really good, and it doesn’t look like this one will need a protective case – at least, we wouldn’t use one.

With a battery capacity of 4270mAh, ASUS estimates the battery life at 7hours, probably in simple depletion mode. We’ll have to run our own tests, but it seems relatively plausible. Finally, the tablet dimensions are: 196.2 x 119.2 x 11.2 mm (7.72 x 4.69 x 0.44”) for 370g (13.1oz). What do you think?

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