How can Asus improve the ZenPad S 8.0 Series (Z580CA) with the ZT581KL?

Details are scarce. We’ve seen perhaps one benchmark result from a possible next generation ZenPad S 8.0, but that was quite some time ago. At Computex 2016 next week, Asus is letting the suspense build.

We want to look at the hero Z580CA (and the Z580C) and see if there were opportunities for Asus to improve upon for this upcoming next gen ZenPad. The ZenPad S 8.0 was a really incredible device so Asus has their work cut out for them.

Price wise? We can’t see Asus doing much better than what they accomplished with the ZenPad S 8.0 series. The Z580C make huge headlines when the price was announced and it was a new standard for high resolution Android tablets in terms of low price. With the move to Snapdragon Qualcomm and the departure of Intel, the next generation model is going to have a hard time getting to the same low price as the ZenPad S 8.0 series. Match it? Possibly.

Build wise, the ZenPad S 8.0 series was truly premium looking and feeling. It wasn’t the lightest or thinnest so we could see the next gen version getting thinner and lighter. Personally I’m okay with thinner but I would rather have a larger battery.

Battery life is one area that could very well improve with the use of a Snapdragon processor. The ZenPad S 8.0 series had the best battery life of the ZenPad releases, but it’s one area that could use improvements. Battery life happens to be a headline maker or at least a deal breaker in some instances. We ran a site poll and people seemed very receptive to a heavier ZenPad that had a bigger battery. Like a ZenPad Max. Hey, great idea! Mr. Asus please consider that!

Stylus input was very useful on the Z580CA and a next generation model hopefully will have stylus input as well. Intel put together a Stylus Alliance in hopes of creating a stylus standard, so it’s possible that Asus will change their stylus technologies in the next generation ZT581KL. A nice feature on the next generation would be a built in stylus compartment, although that isn’t likely.

Display and resolution were terrific on the original ZenPad S 8.0 so we aren’t sure how exactly Asus will build upon or improve upon the display and resolution. Perhaps a bit brighter for the next gen release? More accurate colors?

Pre installed software (bloatware) is one area where the ZenPad S 8.0 was criticized, at least in North America. It’s just not a popular thing to do and negative press comes along with it. So the question is whether Asus will dial back the pre installed software for the next generation. With the software updates that have rolled out over the months, it does appear that Asus is removing or allowing people to uninstall a lot of the apps. There was a revenue generating aspect to having pre installed apps so having fewer of them may make low price points even harder to achieve. However, from our perspective what you lose on one hand you gain back with more favorable reviews, which in turn should increase overall tablet sales.

Speed and performance wise we don’t see how Asus can take giant leaps forward with a next generation model. For most people, the Z580C provides enough performance for what they need out of their Android tablet. Even with 3GB of RAM with the next model, it’s going to be more than sufficient for more everyone.

Cameras on tablets? This is a tricky one. Expensive Android tablets? That’s what you’re looking at if you up the camera capabilities. The Zenfone 3 series is going big on camera technology, but it’s unclear whether Asus will do the same on their flagship tablet(s). People are not likely to buy a tablet because of its camera quality whereas a camera can be a deal breaker. We can’t see Asus making their tablet prices higher for the sake of a better camera. The ZenPad S 8.0 did have the highest spec cameras for their tablet line-up but it’s still not big selling point.

So what do you think can be improved? What feature(s) do you hope for in the next gen flagship ZenPad?

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