Asus to launch 7in Fonepad at MWC

Nexus 7 follow-up Fonepad has ability to make calls

Asus will unveil a 7in tablet called the Fonepad at MWC as a follow-up to the Google Nexus 7.

The Fonepad will be a 7in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet like many others but with the ability to make phone calls making one of the largest phablets we've heard about. The Asus Fonepad will be revealed at Mobile World Congress (MWC) later this month in Barcelona, according to Digitimes.

There's no image to show what the Fonepad looks like but reported specifications include an Intel Atom Z242 processor, a 7in (1280x800) IPS screen and 16GB of internal storage. It will also have Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth and GPS.

If this is the actual name for the tablet, it will be extremely confusing for consumers. The Fonepad is a reverse of Asus' existing Padfone. The Padfone 2 is expected to launch in the UK soon. See also Group test: what's the best cheap tablet PC?

Digitimes said the Asus Fonepad will cost around $271-305 (£170-195) at launch. This is little more expensive than the Nexus 7 which starts at £159 for the 16GB model.

It seems that phablets are becoming more main stream after the popularity of Samsung's Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2. Huawei announced the 6in Ascend Mate at CES in January and the Galaxy Note 8.0 has been leaked ahead of MWC.

With a combination of Android and Windows 8 tablets, Asus expects to ship at least 12 million units in 2013.

We'll be heading out to Barcelona for MWC which starts on 25 February to bring you all the news and hands-on with the devices.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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