ASUS Fonepad, An Affordable 7-inch Tablet with Intel CPU and Phone Functionality
At Mobile World Congress 2013 ASUS has unveiled the first official pictures and information about the ASUS Fonepad, an affordable tablet running on Android and packing Intel processor. Exactly how its name suggests, ASUS Fonepad comes with phone functionality.
ASUS claims that the new 7-inch is addressed to the users who want to combine the portability of a smartphone with the usability of a small tablet, but, it’s a bit hard to believe that the most of users will use the phone function of the device.
Even so, ASUS Fonepad is an interesting addition to the tablet line-up of the Taiwan-based manufacturer. The tablet benefits from a 7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels, while the hardware platform is underpinned by a single-core Intel Atom Z2420 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz.
But be careful, as it is not a chipset belonging to the new Clover Trail+ family presented at MWC 2013, but one of the models launched by the American semiconductor maker at CES 2013, in January.
The graphics processing unit is a PowerVR SGX540, and the ASUS Fonepad comes with 1 GB of RAM, plus 16 GB of internal storage which can be extended using microSD cards.
There’s no doubt that the big advantage of the 7-inch tablet is that it comes with 3G connections with download speeds of up to 21 Mbps, besides WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0.
The European variant of the ASUS Fonepad will not integrate a camera unit on the back, but only a front-facing camera with 1.2 megapixel sensor for video calls, but this inconvenient will most likely be ignored by most of the users.
Moreover, the tablet has some interesting software features: the operating system, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, was enhanced with several interesting applications like Floating App, which has the role of an app manager, SuperNote Lite for taking notes and WebStorage, ASUS’ cloud service that provides 5 GB of free storage.
ASUS also offers two cases for Fonepad, that were named VersaSleeve 7 and Turn Case.
On the European market, ASUS Fonepad will hit the store shelves as of April and it will have a price of €219.
At this price, ASUS Fonepad lays somewhere between ASUS MemoPad (€169) the cheapest tablet of the Tawainese tablet maker, and Nexus 7 the tablet co-developed by ASUS and Google.
The biggest advantage of ASUS Fonepad over Nexus 7 is that it brings 3G connectivity at a price of €219, compared to the €299 price tag of the Nexus 4 WiFi+3G.