The tablet comes in a box marginally larger in footprint than the device itself, but perhaps its depth might lead you to believe it packs a bunch of accessories. Sadly, that's not the case. With a wall charger and a USB cable, only the bare necessities are covered. To be fair, that seems to be the norm for tablets in general, so Asus isn't to blame.
The Asus Memo Pad 7 ME572C is not immediately recognizable as a member of the Asus tablet family. Lacking company branding on the front and sporting sharp corners as opposed to the rounded ones of previous models, you'd be forgiven to mistake the tablet for a noname Chinese slate. It looks a lot like a Nokia N9 stretched to Nexus 7 proportions.
The rear settles it quickly, though, with an Asus logo across the center. The back on our black review unit is pleasantly textured and provides comfortable and secure grip. Perhaps the alternative color options will differ in this respect with their smoother matte finishes. They will also more obviously convey the designers' concept of a flap-like appearance.
The sides are nicely rounded and sit well in the hands when the device is held in portrait orientation. Landscape mode, on the other hand, puts the sharp corners on the middle of the user's palms and, while not a deal-breaker, may prove uncomfortable for some.
Another questionable decision is the speakers placement. When the tablet is held in landscape they'll end up being blocked by your hands more often than not. On the other hand, putting the device flat on a surface will have no detrimental effect on sound output. One positive side of the generous bezels is that they provide enough real estate to handle the slate without blocking the screen.
Asus claims to have applied an anti-fingerprint coating, but it doesn't do a particularly good job and the whole front is covered in smudges in just a few finger swipes. A Corning Concore glass is employed, which documentation reveals has a three times lower indentation load than the Gorilla Glass 3. So you may be wise to pick up a screen protector if you have poor history in protecting your tech.
The Asus Memo Pad 7 ME572C measures 200 x 114.4 x 8.3mm and weighs in at 269g. It's a whole 1.3mm thinner and 26g lighter than the (stay focused) Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C. It's worth mentioning that the LTE version of the currently reviewed slate is a smidge heavier at 279g.
One-handed operation is possible due to the grippy back surface and adequate button placement. That said, at 7 inches the tablet is best held with both hands.
The overall impression is of a very solid build. The device feels very well put together and materials are of good quality.
The top of the device is home to one of the two speakers, housed behind a 14mm slit. Towards the right you can find the 3.5mm headphone jack. The bottom sees the second speaker, right in the middle, symmetrical to the top one. The microUSB port is also around.
The right side of the tablet is where the physical power button and volume rocker are placed. If you have average hands, you shouldn't have trouble reaching them with one hand, even if it's not the most graceful of exercises.
A microSD slot is on the left side, of the push-to-insert-push-to-eject variety. The device sits somewhat unfinished without a card in, not that anyone around here is a particular supporter of plastic flaps.
The back is home solely to the main 5MP camera in the top left corner. The 2MP front facer is above the display, accompanied by an ambient light sensor.