ASUS Fonepad Android tablet (preview)

The ASUS Fonepad is a 7in Android tablet that also functions as a regular phone

Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer ASUS has never been short of a wacky idea. Its latest device challenges the definition of a tablet by morphing smartphone calling capabilities into a traditional slate form factor. The ASUS Fonepad is a 7in Android tablet that also functions as a regular phone.

The Fonepad has borrowed plenty from the Google Nexus 7, which is hardly a surprise since ASUS also manufactures that device. It weighs the same (340g), has almost identical dimensions and also uses the same display as the popular Nexus 7. The IPS screen has a resolution of 1280x800 and a pixel density of 216ppi.

The main design difference is on the back. The Fonepad swaps the leather-like backing on the Nexus 7 for a classier looking metallic finish available in grey or gold colours. The Nexus 7's soft touch back made that device very comfortable to hold and use, so we can only hope the Fonepad doesn't change that.

ASUS describes the Fonepad as "a tablet that retains the flexibility of a smartphone, but removes the need to carry two different devices". While this is certainly possible, there's something that's not quite right about holding a 7in tablet to your ear for a phone call. You can of course use the Fonepad with a Bluetooth headset but ASUS is actually promoting the fact that you don't have to use one.

ASUS describes the Fonepad as
ASUS describes the Fonepad as "a tablet that retains the flexibility of a smartphone, but removes the need to carry two different devices".

The ASUS Fonepad has reasonable specifications for a 7in Android tablet. It is powered by an a 1.2GHz single-core Intel Atom Z2420 processor, has 1GB of RAM and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. There's also a microSD card slot to expand the 8GB of onboard memory, a feature that's not available on the Nexus 7.

Perhaps the most impressive feature touted by ASUS is the 4270mAh battery. The company says it will power the Fonepad for up to nine hours, a very reasonable figure for an Android tablet. The Fonepad doesn't have 4G connectivity, relying on the standard 3G network for data.

ASUS will produce two versions of the Fonepad. The European model has 16GB of internal memory but no rear camera while the Asia-Pacific model, presumably the model that will be released in Australia, only has 8GB of internal memory but gets a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera. All variants feature a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls.

The Fonepad will initially ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The Fonepad will initially ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The Fonepad will initially ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean but there's been no word if or when the device will be updated to the latest 4.2 version.

ASUS hasn't confirmed whether or not the Fonepad will be available in Australia but it will sell in Europe later this month for €219 and then Asia for US$249.

A promotional video of the ASUS Fonepad can be viewed below.

Tags phabletsASUS FonepadAndroidasustabletsjelly beanAndroid tablets

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World

7 Comments

Will

1

The Pipo U3 – 3G for $199 was released March 1st – with one of the first Resellers making it available is a site called TabletSprint -- The Pipo U3 is made by one of China's largest Tablet makers and is a 7″ Android tablet with a built-in 3G slot that works with all GSM Network Carriers – including AT&T and T-Moble and is the first fully functional 3G Dual Core 7″ tablet priced under $300 – TabletSprint also includes $25 in Bonus Android Apps.

Abhishek

2

Just the tablet i dreamt about, and the price is also good.
I couldn't ask for such better specification.

I am gonna buy it. BUY IT..!!!!!!

glego

3

Will ASUS Fonepad 7-inch tablet be made available in Singapore and Malaysia?

Is it confirmed that the device have the following features?:-

1. Able to make phone calls and send/receive SMS/MMS (3G)
2. 3.2 mega-pixels rear camera.
3. auto-focus camera lens (many smartphones have this feature which is every essential).
4. ability to read/edit office documents (ie words/excel/powerpoint)
5. ability to view PDF documents

White front and back body is very smart for ladies to carry around and use. Black and Grey/Silver is very common and boring. Please produce white.

Please make it available in Singapore and Malaysia in March/April 2013 and at a cheaper price so that all ages of mobile/tablet users will go for it.

I am anxious to buy this gadget if it has all the features listed above. Please expedite exportation to Singapore and Malaysia as soon as possible.

Cheers to ASUS!!!

loser

4

Mind blowing.I want to buy this

Vince

5

Does the pipo u3 work with Vodafone and optus

NabiL Amin

6

Love it :) i'll buy this week....

Kimmy

7

What about WiFi?

Comments are now closed.

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