ASUS wasn’t kidding when they gave the ZenPad 7.0 the tagline “Luxury On Your Terms”, the Audio Cover CA71 is just that and in my opinion it’s probably the best accessory available for the ZenPad 7.0.
Just as the name AUDIO COVER, the accessory is not only a cover but it’s also provide audio enhancement and that’s not all, the Audio Cover comes with a 2300mAh battery embedded so you’re essentially getting 4 items in 1!!!
4 items in one? Did you read that correctly? Oh yes you did, the Audio Cover CA71 provides you
– enhanced audio
– display stand
– battery pack (call it a PowerBank if you may).
Below is the specs taken from the official product page.
The Audio Cover is said to provide 5.1-channel surround sound with four satellite speakers, one center-channel speaker, and one subwoofer.
And here is what the ZenPad 7.0 looks like when supported by the Audio Cover.
The Audio Cover does not come with any port for charging so ASUS provided an add-on piece that enables MicroUSB connection to the contact points to allow charging. This is useful when you intend to charge both the ZenPad 7.0 and the Audio Cover at the same time. You could charge the via the ZenPad 7.0 alone but the charging would go to the cover and trickles to the ZenPad.
Installing the Audio Cover on the ASUS ZenPad 7.0 was a breeze, however the device doesn’t link audio to the cover immediately. I had to reset the tablet to get it to work.
ASUS claims 5.1-channel surround sound with four satellite speakers, one center-channel speaker, and one subwoofer but seriously, anyone familiar with audio systems wouldn’t take it seriously. It’s basically a flat piece placed on the same plane and at most it could attempt to simulate 5.1 environment but it definitely wouldn’t be anywhere close to actual 5.1 setup.
As for me, I’m not particularly concerned with surround system audio when it comes to mobile devices. The audio output from the Audio Cover is loud and what I like is that it doesn’t sound cheap like some el-cheapo speakers and in fact I’m quite pleased with it without even having to tweak any settings from the AudioWizard software provided. It totally enhanced my viewing experience on the ZenPad 7.0, audio is loud and clear with these set of new speakers and it’s a much better experience than listening from the lob-sided speaker setup on the tablet.
That said, the AudioWizard software has some settings for you preference, do try out each setting to find out which one suits your preference. Each setting comes with surround and non surround mode. Among the setup my favorite goes to MUSIC preset with Surround disabled.
What I didn’t like about the Audio Cover is that audio output is redirected to the tablet’s speakers once MicroUSB cable is connected.
One other thing I didn’t like is the display angle that’s almost vertical of which I find not suitable for a 7″ device, one that we often need to view closer due to the screen size.
The Audio Cover’s build quality is excellent, with felt-lining surface around and across the base area while the section attached to the tablet is plastic, just as what the standard cover is.
The ASUS ZenPad 7.0 Audio Cover (CA71) is stylish cover that retails at RM 249 it adds protection to the ZenPad and definitely is a useful add-on because it provides conveniences like viewing stand, additional 6 hours of usage time and enhanced audio.
On the downside it doubles the ZenPad 7’s thickness and adds some 200g to the overall weight but I think that’s a small price to pay for what you gain from it.