Buy $199 Z580C now or wait for hero Z580CA tablet later?

black-and-white-zenpad-s8-z580ca-tabletsInitially we thought that the Z580CA was going to be “the” tablet from Asus. With the buzz surrounding the Z580C, ZenPad S 8.0 model for $199, we’re wondering what people feel about the two different S models. Please participate in the comment section!

A part of us wonders if there is some confusion in the marketplace about the ZenPad S 8.0 and whether people might assume that the $199 is it and that it’s the true hero of the ZenPad line-up. Here is what we say to those people: “but wait, there is more!”.

We did a comparison article early on, and you can read that Z580C vs. Z580CA article here. We thought that would have value and it certainly appears that way.

So we know the prices officially as $199 US for the lesser spec’d Z580C model and unofficially the hero model, Z580CA (Z580CA-C1-BK or Z580-C1-WH) is going to cost $299 US. One thing to further consider is the fact that there may be more than one Z580CA coming to your country. For example, the UK has a Z580CA model that is 2GB of RAM, a 1.8GHz processor and 32GB storage and costs around $229 US when we do our magic number crunching conversion recipe. We believe this model in the US and North America will be listed as the Z580CA-B1-BK (black) or Z580-B1-WH (white). This likely would complicate buying decisions!

The one question that cannot be answered is how much longer you’re going to wait for the Z580CA to land on US soil and elsewhere around the world. But at the very least, we’re going to give you a rundown on what you will be missing out on if you go with the $199 Z580C model now, as opposed to the Z580CA later.

zenpad-stylus-penStylus Pen Input – This may not sound like a big deal, and perhaps it’s not worth paying extra for. However, if you have kids or are planning on having kids, I cannot emphasize enough how useful that can be for children. For school work and studying, it’s great. Every kid loves to draw also and it can be a great distraction from games or silly apps. So creativity wise and educational wise, being able to use a stylus pen on a tablet is a big feature, especially if kids are in your life or will be coming into your life in the near future. The Z580CA has palm rejection technology also. Keep in mind that the Z Stylus is an accessory which you will need to by separately (from what we can see) and that does add to the cost of your tablet purchase.

Processor Speed – Let’s be clear. The Z580C comes with the Intel Z3530 processor @ 1.2GHz. If you read a different spec, don’t trust it. It’s the Intel Atom Z3530 inside. With the Z580CA, you’re either getting the Z3580 @ 2.3GHz or it’s going to have the Z3560 @ 1.8GHz processor. That is quite a significant speed difference and that will have an impact later on, provided games and apps continue to become more resource hungry. That’s not a guarantee at this point, but if there is money to be made in more robust games, be assured they will come over the next couple of years.

USB Type-C – This is a very new connection port. We can’t get too much into what it can do, other than to say having the newest technology, especially when it comes to ports, is a good future proofing feature.

Tru2Life+ Technology – Although this Tru2Life technology can be confusing to distinguish, it’s the “+” Plus aspect that’s important. Only the Z580CA has the Tru2Life+. The Z580C has the Tru2Life technology. Think of it this way, the Plus is a video enhancement technology which creates a smoother playback experience. At this time, it’s impossible for us to compare a ZenPad S with and without that Tru2Life+ technology. We are confident however in suggesting that it’s a big deal. You will find a lot of other websites not mentioning this feature and which models have Tru2Life+. It’s only the Z580CA that has the video enhancement technology.

Cameras – Some people love taking photos with their tablets. That’s fine with us! However, keep in mind that the Z580CA has better cameras with a 5MP front and 8MP rear. The Z580C model has a 2MP front and a 5MP rear. We almost missed this spec (actually we did miss this detail) so we aren’t perfect either!

So How To Decide Which To Buy?

black-zenpad-s-8-0-z580c-z580ca-7On a tablet like this, either of the ZenPad S 8.0 models have a microSD slot which allows for up to a 128GB card. Thus, paying extra for a 64GB internal storage may not be worthwhile. Internal is obviously more reliable and secure that a microSD card and we understand that.

Deciding to buy now or wait, we urge you to wait a few more days. The reason is pretty simple. At some point here in the next week or so we hope to get some release date information about the Z580CA model(s).

If a lesser spec’d Z580CA (Z580CA-B1-BK or Z580-B1-WH) comes to the US market for $30 more than the $199 Z580C, then we think the additional features are well worth it. If the lesser spec Z580CA does not show up along side the fully packed Z580CA, then you need to look at whether the extra $100 is worth it for you.

So really, the choice is quite easy, so long as Asus brings 2 versions of the Z580CA to your country. If you only have one Z580CA model to choose from, then you need to consider the added features and weigh those against the added price. If the UK is a sample of what to expect, they only currently have one version of the Z580CA to choose from for pre orders. We simply don’t know if this is an indicator that it’s going to be one version of the Z580CA per country.

The bottom line is we want everyone to be “in the know”. If you read $199 for the ZenPad S 8.0, we want you to realize that there is still more on the way and those other ZenPad S 8.0 tablets might very well be worth waiting for.

 

30 Comments

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  1. John July 12, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

    Yes, this confusion and lack of different naming conventions is very frustrating. Even if I am careful with my own purchase, its difficult to recommend the tablet to friends/family who are less in the know. Plus, it’ll be confusing in the developer forums when downloading new ROMs and other root-based apps. All these problems are going to cause confusion and therefore lower the sales numbers, which in turn lessen the future support for the device.

    It makes me consider other tablets all together…OK rant over 🙂

    • Phil July 13, 2015 at 3:50 am #

      Leave it to Asus to confuse their customers. Looks like someone needs ot talk to the marketing department 😡

      • Staff July 13, 2015 at 3:56 am #

        I agree. However what doesn’t help is that fact that the “big tech” sites post incorrect information. Big audience with incorrect details and specs? I hope people can trust the info we share here. Obviously it’s easier for us to get details right when we cover ZenPad tablets exclusively. However, we also aren’t staffed like the big tech sites. That said, Best Buy had listed the wrong processor! Sometimes you have to LOL at product launches.

  2. Shawn July 19, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    I’ll be getting the CA for sure. My only concern is if I should pre-order now or wait for some feedback from early adopters and review sites. People seem to really like the C it seems so I’m pretty sure the CA should be an even better experience. You never know though.

    • Staff July 19, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

      Interesting. The only quibble I’ve read about the Z580C was about wifi strength, but results obviously may vary. However the Z580CA has the “ac” wifi, so I can’t see how that could be an issue. At this point it’s really hard know the demand which could make it out of stock right away. It’s happened in the past, but tablet demand has really dropped off the past year or so. If it does start selling out, I suppose pre ordering makes the most sense, but it’s completely speculative.

      • Shawn July 19, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

        I have heard that some people feel that the WIFI is weak. Other people haven’t mentioned that at all. The potential WIFI issues still worries me. I purchased and still use a TF prime. The WIFI in that thing is horrendous. I’d hate to take another shot at an Asus tabby and find myself in the same situation again.

        • Staff July 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

          I’m just curious on your TF Prime, did you get that free dongle? I know that was a long while ago! Prime had that design flaw which they corrected in the Infinity follow-up, and have placed a plastic strip along that one side of the tablet (for the non plastic tablets) ever since. Wifi is so picky, there could be many other factors at play in regards to anything that’s been said about the Z580C, which is one customer review of three I believe. Not a sample size worth much at this point. I personally don’t see how Asus could mess up wifi signal strength, especially on their premium line.

  3. Paul July 21, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    I have just bought the Z580C and love everything about it, but the WiFi is troubling. I have an iPad Mini 2 from my work place that gets my company’s wifi signal just fine, but in the same place the Z580C sees it but it is so weak that it cannot connect. This is frustrating even to the point that I may return it. I don’t want to because it is so awesome in every other aspect. At home, I notice it doesn’t pick up very well either, but I can connect. I am just concerned that if I am out and about with it that it will not be able to pick up well enough for me to use.

    • Staff July 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

      Interesting. With this being released somewhat ahead of schedule, I’m wondering if a firmware update is needed. By chance, did you write a user review on Best Buy?

      • Staff July 21, 2015 at 11:03 pm #

        Had another thought. Why not return it as defective and get a new one? Post back your findings!

        • Paul July 22, 2015 at 12:15 am #

          No, I did not write a review. I thought about returning it but I had to order mine since none were in stock.

          • Staff July 22, 2015 at 12:19 am #

            Thanks for mentioning that. I was asking because one of the Best Buy reviews was mentioning wifi issues. I guess we will know soon enough if there are issues as people will be posting about it online.

  4. Paul July 22, 2015 at 1:57 am #

    It really kills me because this device is really awesome! Yes, I am posting from it now. Everything about it just rocks! Display, speed, sound, 32GB internal memory, great build and design, all for $199.

  5. Shawn July 22, 2015 at 8:45 am #

    Now this makes me worry. I just pre-ordered the $300 CA. I still own the tf101with it’s Wi-Fi issues and do not want to go through that again.

  6. Paul July 22, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    OK. I returned my Z580C today with no intention of getting another one. My reason for not getting another one to see if this is hit or miss is because my local Best Buy does not stock any of these. Therefore, every time I want to return and get another to test if it is random, I will need to order another one from their site. No guarantees that it isn’t a problem in all of this model. Interestingly, I actually tried out the low end 7 inch model for $99 and it had no issues with WiFi signal. I returned that simply because it was a bit small for my tastes.

    • Staff July 22, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks Paul for updating. It’s very helpful to readers for sure!

  7. Scott July 23, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    I’ve had the Z580C for about a week now and I’ve had no trouble with the WiFI at both work and at home. I have several different tablets (Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, Ipad, Ipad Mini, etc) and I like the ASUS Zenpad better than all of them. They all have their good points but I just like the feel of the Zenpad (subjective I know). It is very responsive and my download and upload speed is excellent.

    • Staff July 24, 2015 at 1:30 am #

      Thanks for posting those details! Especially good to hear about the wifi. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  8. Ricky July 24, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    I think the wifi issue Paul and the guy on best buys website is experiencing are the router the tupe of wifi service you guys have. It could be the device itself and its lack of 802.11ac, which again could be the router etc… Other reviews ive seen dont have mention wifi issues.

    Im hoping Asus releases a version in the US with the Intel Z3560 and the ac support for around 230-240$.

  9. paul August 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    Does the zenpad 7 have a microSIM card slot or WiFi only? The GSMArena spec says it has microSim, but I am doubtful.

  10. Paul August 19, 2015 at 1:30 am #

    I have picked another one of these up today at Best Buy since they are now stocking then in store. I wanted to give it another shot since it is such a nice tab. When I got to work with it and opening it up, it still would not connect to our private network. Before I try to connect it says the signal is good, but when I connect it goes to poor and will not connect to it. I am able to connect to the public network without issue interestingly. They would be using the same router.

    • Paul August 20, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

      I have now been using this for a few days and I still like the feel and function. No issues with WiFi other that as stated above. One thing that really is bothering me is how long it takes for this to charge. I am a little curious as to why this takes so long.

      • Staff August 20, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

        Interesting. I have a MeMO Pad ME302C and it does take longer to charge than other devices/tablets I own. I’m wondering if you find it taking a long time to charge when the battery is extremely low or if it’s long to charge even when you are just trying to top it up.

  11. Andrew September 20, 2015 at 6:50 am #

    ASUS ZenPad Z580CA-C1-BK Intel Atom 4GB DDR3 Memory 64GB eMMC 8.0.

    This is the tablet that is $299, the Z580CA-C1-BK, the specs make it seem way to good to be $299.

    Specs:8″ IPS Display (2048 x 1536) with Corning Gorilla Glass3 and ASUS True2Life+ technology
    Intel Atom Z3580 Quad-Core, 64bit, 2.3GHz
    4G RAM, 64Gb Storage
    1 x microSD Card slot, support up to 128GB SDHC

  12. Andrew September 20, 2015 at 6:57 am #

    Specs8″ IPS Display (2048 x 1536) with Corning Gorilla Glass3 and ASUS True2Life+ technology
    Intel Atom Z3580 Quad-Core, 64bit, 2.3GHz
    4G RAM, 64G Storage
    1 x microSD Card slot, support up to 128GB SDHC

    These specs are too good to be true for $299, although if this does end up being only $299, it will blow all others out of the water. By the way these are the specs for the ASUS ZenPad Z580CA-C1-BK.

  13. Chaoss September 30, 2015 at 5:16 am #

    I just bought the Z580C and the wifi on it is better than any other device I have, even in my basement.. My router is on the 2nd floor so that’s definitely not an issue for me. The main issue I’m having is the lack of palm rejection. With the side bezels being so narrow, I’m constantly touching the screen with part of my palm and it will close apps and cause a lot of other issues. Idk if that has to be built into the screen or if a software update can correct that. Does anyone here happen to know? Thanks.

    • Staff September 30, 2015 at 6:13 am #

      What I can say is the on the official specs from Asus.com, it’s only the Z580CA model which has palm rejection technology. That is because of the Z Stylus pen compatibility with that particular model. I would think it’s a built in feature and not something that can be corrected via software update, but I’m all ears if any readers have further thoughts.

  14. olblueyez November 28, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    I realize some of us will find $100 expensive but,,… After owning the Z580CA for awhile I can say that having 4GB of RAM instead of 2GB is a HUGE deal when it comes to speed and preventing YOU from wasting your time. My tablet is fully loaded wit all the apps I use which is not a ton of apps. Fresh out of the box the CA model will give you 3.8GB of RAM with the Android OS installed.

    New + OS = 3.8GB
    My Apps Installed + OS = 1.5GB

    +3.8GB RAM
    -1.5GB RAM

    Leaves me with ((((2.3GB of FREE RAM))) That is available to the CPU to function properly.

    This Free Ram will prevent the CPU from Caching your open apps back and fourth from the internal storage. No Bottle Neck.

    The Z580C with half the RAM 2GB would leave me/you with .3GB of RAM for the CPU to operate at Full Speed. Huge Bottle Neck considering many apps that you are not aware of will also be running in the back ground on both models.

    For me, I personally would rather have 4GB of RAM even if it meant having the slower CPU because processor speed becomes irrelivant if the CPU is forced to run slower because it lacks enough RAM to operate at full speed.

    A good analogy is “Do you want to spend 45 minutes driving to work everyday? Or would you rather spend 15 minutes driving to work everyday?”, Will $100 be worth a lot of your own personal free time?

    Both nice tablets but RAM is THE most important feature in my humble opinion.

    Brooke

  15. WJCole February 18, 2016 at 1:23 am #

    Saw a price drop on tha .CA and got it for $249. Picked up the stylus for another $30 and I am a happy camper! Stylus is top quality and will register pressure changes for drawing. I like it for the precision it provides on this relatively small touch screen. CPU and RAM give top notch performance for quick switching between apps or even multiple Windows with the right software.
    What’s not too like?

  16. Paul June 21, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

    Asus Z580C uk spec bought in April. Returned it 1 week later after lots of testing which eventually proved that the WiFi transceiver was not functioning correctly. Replacement proved to have the same problems. Symptoms include general weak signal (compared to 6 other devices), fluctuations in received signal strength (both transceivers in fixed positions), random disconnects and router wifi crashes. The last problem seems to suggest an 802.11n interoperability problem, and was reproducable with 2 TP Link and 1 Technicolor routers. Previous Nexus 7 displayed none of these issues.

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