Current Availability: With the 4G LTE capability of the ZenPad 3 8.0 it is likely to not make the US or Canada markets. It has started to become available in the European markets with some limited availability is a few Asian markets.
Why not in the US? It’s likely because of the ZenPad Z8 which is a Verizon exclusive. With the Z8 being so similar it’s doubtful that Asus would offer virtually the same tablet outside of the Verizon agreement. It’s likely not even allowable for them to do so. If you live in the US and the Z581KL is of interest to you, then check out the details of the ZenPad Z8 Verizon exclusive here.
Price: If you are from Europe, the launch price for the ZenPad 3 8.0 with 2GB RAM is EUR 299. There is also a model with 4GB of RAM at a more expensive price point that can be found in Asian markets. The ZenPad 3 8.0 (Z581KL) is currently a limited release so price details are not widely available. Updating as more information becomes available.
Key Features: Although it may be a bit buried in the specs sheet, the ZenPad 3 8.0 (Z581KL) does have the ability to make phone calls. Call this an added bonus! It does give this tablet more flexibility than most any other 8-inch tablet and taking a phone call on speaker phone or via headset, it’s a value added feature.
Overview: In an odd way, Asus put up their official product page without much notice at all. We discovered this original listing more by a fluke than anything. Asus dialed back their tablet offerings and perhaps a low key release is part of this new direction. We aren’t complaining because with this new tablet we have something new to talk about.
ZenPad 3 8.0 First Impressions: This definitely looks very much like the Verizon exclusive ZenPad Z8 but we will have to take a closer look at the specs to really see. From the perspective of build quality, we would suggest that the ZenPad S 8.0 could be considered more premium looking. The backing of the ZenPad 3 8.0 is more reminiscent of the ZenPad C Series from these early looks. We like to see that the dual stereo front facing speakers are still part of the design. We think a lot of people will also be happy with the higher capacity 4650mAh battery which is larger capacity than the ZenPad S 8.0 flagship tablet. What we don’t know yet is whether the ZenPad 3 8.0 is compatible with the Z Stylus. It’s 7.9-inches, 2048 x 1536 resolution, 4GB RAM, 320g, 7.1-channel virtual surround sound, Qualcomm S650 hexa-core processor with Adreno 510 GPU.
Does this mean there is a 3S 8.0 coming as well? The Z581KL seems just shy of being a flagship tablet when you compare the design aspects to the ZenPad S 8.0 model. With the ZenPad 3S 10, the build quality is more on par with a flagship device. It’s unclear if Asus will go flagship build for a second 8-inch tablet or not. Stay tuned!
ZenPad 3 8.0 (Z581KL) Photo Gallery:
Previous Updates Prior to July 30, 2016:
At this early stage, we only know of the existence of a Z581KL which is an update to the original hero flagship ZenPad S 8.0 tablets. Asus may be doing away with the “S” in the name in part because they are reducing their number of tablet models. Thus, the original ZenPad 8.0 series and the ZenPad S 8.0 series may very well be merged into ZenPad 3 8.0 instead.
This line of thinking and naming would follow how Asus is treating their other product lines. So this year, the ZenBook 3 is the name of their true hero model. There are other ZenBook models, but none of them are marketed or named as the ZenBook 3 series.
So Asus is at the “3” in terms of their new generational strategy and the ZenPad line-up needs to be brought into the fold. The ZenPad 3 (Z581KL) is going to be the successor to the ZenPad S 8.0 series. That much we are certain of. Specs wise, it’s unclear.
There is some misinformation online about the P008 showing up at the FCC. The fact is, that particular model is the ZT581KL which is the ZenPad Z8 which is an exclusive for Verizon. The P008 in reference to the Z581KL may be shared between the two, but we do not believe that spec wise or build wise that the ZT581KL and Z581KL are the identical device. We could be wrong however as this is speculation. Our best guess though is the P008 is for both devices, but the FCC specs are exact to the ZenPad Z8 for Verizon. Those are respectable specs, but to be a successor to the ZenPad S 8.0 series, we would expect an even better spec sheet than that of the Z8 from Verizon.
Stay tuned, updates coming!