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June 3, 2013

ASUS MeMo Pad HD 7 coming to the US for $149

Joining ASUS' MeMo Pad family today are a couple of self-explanatory models: the MeMo Pad HD 7 and the MeMo Pad FHD 10. While we've already got to test out the 10-inch model, this is the first we've seen of the 7-incher. Like the current Nexus 7, which this is going to replace, it has a 1,280 x 800 screen.

With this new generation, though, it adds 5-megapixel and 1.2-megapixel cameras, SonicMaster audio and an ARM Cortex A7 quad-core CPU. Oh, and it adds a microSD slot and a micro-USB socket, two things the Nexus 7 doesn't have. Unlike a Nexus product, the OS is the slightly older Android 4.0, and ASUS hasn't yet said when the tablet will be available for an update.

The big news here, however, is the price. As Chairman Jonney Shih said during its reveal, we needed our cameras, because it'll arrive priced at a pretty incredible $149 for 16GB and $129 for 8GB. In addition, he clarified that the super-low-cost $129 version is aimed at emerging markets for now, though the $149 model is thankfully headed to countries like the US. We're not sure when that will be, but for now, with these prices and specs, consider us tempted. In the meantime, head past the break for the full hands-on treatment.

In our brief hands-on, we quickly noticed the Memo Pad HD 7 has a glossy finish, which is a stark departure from the rubbery texture of the Nexus 7. It'll be available in four colors: black (naturally), white, pink and yellow. Even under the glare of the spotlights here at ASUS' press event, the 7-inch, 1,280 x 800 IPS screen remained easy to read, even at off angles. The quad-core A7 CPU also seemed up to the task of launching apps and keeping up with brisk OS navigation, though a true apples-to-apples comparison won't be possible until we actually get one in to review. For now, glean what you will from our hands-on video below, and enjoy our hands-on shots too.