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Asus brings high-spec, low-cost Android tablet to the US

In an attempt to strengthen its “Zen” lineup, which includes a wealth of devices including phones, smartwatches, and PCs, Asus has unveiled a new Android tablet for the United States. Some readers may recognize the ZenPad S 8.0 as it’s been available in India for a couple of weeks now. Fortunately, if you’re in the states, you can pick up the $299 slate beginning today.

Featuring a vivid 1,536 x 2,048 IPS display, along with a hardy Z3580 Intel Atom Z3580 processor, the ZenPad S is an impressive tablet considering its price point makes it more affordable than an iPad Mini at regular price. Promising clock speeds of 2.3GHz, this ZenPad variant bolsters a quad-core, 64-bit processor with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of onboard storage, and a MicroSD port for when that simply isn’t enough.

Additionally, the ZenPad S 8.0 brings with it a future-proof USB Type-C port, though dismally, it’s limited to USB 2.0 speeds akin to the OnePlus 2 rather than the assumed transfer rates of USB 3.0.

Nonetheless, it’s difficult to complain about a tablet with specs like these, particularly at less than $300. Other hardware features on the ZenPad S 8.0 include front-facing speakers, a 15.2 watt-hour battery, and the aforementioned MicroSD card slot? It supports external storage of up to 128GB. Of course, with the inclusion of USB-C, expect to buy a couple of adapters if you hope to hope to use it with standard USB peripherals.

Related: The Asus ZenFone 2E joins AT&T’s affordable GoPhone prepaid smartphone lineup

Interestingly enough, Asus is suggesting adapters that allow for the connection of both regular USB and Ethernet cables, enabling you to plug the tablet directly into your router or modem without the slowdown of a wireless network connection.

You can purchase an Asus Zenpad S 8.0 now on Amazon, B&H Photo Video, Newegg, TigerDirect, or from Asus itself for $299. As usual, Amazon orders come with free two-day shipping for Prime members, so that’s probably your best bet. Asus’ newest tablet joins the ZenPad C 7.0, ZenPad 8, and ZenPad 10 in the company’s expanding ZenPad tablet lineup.

With the release of the Zenfone 2 back in May and now this, Asus has contrived quite the reputation for developing high-spec devices and selling them at a low-cost. This gives the company a considerable distinction from its competitors that it may want to retain long-term if it can.