Battery life

  • 5900mAh battery offers mediocre life
  • Supports fast charging, but doesn’t come with a fast charger

The ZenPad 3S 10's 5900mAh battery offers decent stamina but doesn't really challenge the iPad Air 2 when it comes to staying power.

Asus quotes up to 10 hours of active battery life, a very optimistic figure which is possible only if you're being particularly frugal when it comes to usage. During our usual video test – in which we stream a HD movie for 90 minutes with screen brightness and volume both set to maximum – the ZenPad 3S 10 lost around 30% of its battery.

The iPad Air 2 lost just 21% in the same test, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 lost a mere 16% and the Huawei MediaPad M2 10.0 lost 20%.

Thankfully, because Asus has included USB Type-C support with this slate, you can benefit from faster charging times via Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 standard – provided you use a certified 18W power supply, which isn't included. 

Using the charger supplied in the box it took around two and a half hours to fill an entirely empty battery.

Camera

  • Poor quality cameras and no LED flash
  • Feature-packed camera app

The debate regarding the usefulness of a camera on a tablet device continues to rage, but most manufacturers include them regardless. The story isn't all that different with the ZenPad 3S 10; it has an 8MP rear camera and 5MP front camera, and neither is capable of taking a decent photo.

The front-facing snapper gets a free pass purely because it comes in handy for making video calls and the like, but the rear-facing camera is woeful.

There's no LED flash, so shooting in low-light is a no-no, but even when conditions are perfect the resultant images are dull, lifeless and certainly not anything you'd want to print off and show to friends and family.

The included camera application is a bespoke one created by Asus, and offers a wide range of photo options including HDR, slow-motion and manual controls, which allow you to alter settings such as white balance and exposure. It’s a decent showing, but wasted here given the poor quality of the camera.

In terms of video, the ZenPad 3S 10 can record in up to 1080p, but the quality is just as bad as the still images. In short, don't bother using this device for image or video capture – chances are, your smartphone is going to give far superior results.

Camera samples

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When conditions are absolutely perfect you might get a half-decent shot, but colors look drab and lifeless.

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Low-light shooting is a bit of a lost cause, with lots of noise creeping in.

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The lack of an LED flash means you'll need to ensure lighting is strong before taking a snap.

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