The Street Way

Asus FonePad is a cheap 7-inch ('Jelly Bean') tablet that makes calls (hands-on)

BARCELONA, Spain - Asus is not exactly the first company that springs to mind when you think of tablets, but having constructed Google's brilliant Nexus 7 device , it's proved that it can crank out a terrific slate.

Now the company is applying many of the same tricks to a new tablet. Dubbed the FonePad(yeesh), this new device follows in the fool steps of Asus' docking PadFone mobile, and borrows much form the Nexus 7 . it has the ability to make calls , though and is powered by an Intel Atom processor.(like as Mini Laptop processor).

Screen and Design 
The FonePad has a 7-inch display, which packs in 1,280X800pxls, making this the same size and resolution as  Nexus 7. it lacks a rear camera , but finds space for a 1.2 megapxls front-facing snapper, which should come in handy  for video calling .

The FonePad is made from metal , but thankfully isn't too heavy at 340g. It's slim, too, measuring 10.4mm on its shallowest side. Asus is confident you will be able to grip this tablet comfortably with one hand, and indeed during my hands- on time i found that the FonePad felt very light and portable, much like the Nexus 7.

The FonePad's metal construction does feel classy, and my impressions after a brief period of use were that build quality seemed high . The plastic construction of the Nexus 7 is one of the few things I didn't like about Google's tablet, so this is a definite plus in my mind.

Apart from the metal casing , though once you get your mitts on this tablet there's very little to distinguish it from the Google-branded Nexus-7 and the FonePad is very similar in size and design. The good news is that if you have used a Nexus 7 , you will be more than equipped to handle Asus'  newest tablet. it does leave me wondering whether this device is different enough, however.
Intel inside
 Humming away on the inside is one Intel's  Atom Z2420 processors, clocked at 1.2GHz and backed up by 1 GB of RAM . The Nexus 7 offers excellent performance using Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 chip , so it'll be interesting to see whether the FonePad can outpace it. Graphics meanwhile come courtesy  of a PowerVR GX540 GPU.

As for storage , you get 16GB of space , but happily you can bump that up by slotting in a micro-SD card, with up to 32 GB cards supported. That should be plenty of space, unless you are a particularly ruthless hoarder of photos and video, and gives the FonePad an edge over the Nexus 7 ,which is bereft of expandable storage. Asus says you will get 9 hours of battery life form this compact gadget. 

Look ridiculous on a call

The FonePad comes complete with all the necessary hardware to make phone calls, provided you don't mind holding a 7-inch tablet up to your face and attracting baffled looks from passersby. It's equipped with a noise canceling microphone ,too.

In theory ,built in phone power means you could pay for just one SIM-card and scrap your smartphone completely , essentially nabbing yourself a smartphone and tablet in one , for a fraction of the amount it would cost to buy both. In practice I can't see many shoppers taking to the idea, but if  you'd happily use a tablet as your main phone , let me know in the comments.

The FonePad is running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which isn't quite the latest version,but still gets you all the key features of Android like access to the Google Play store ,and several home screens to pack full of widgets and apps.

Asus has taken the time to add some of its own applications , including Floating App, which helps manage your multitasking apps, and Super Note Lite , which is for making handwritten notes and doodling , you will also get the giddy thrill of editing Microsoft Office documents on the go using Asus Web Storage Office online , and 5GB of cloud storage on the inventively named Asus Web Storage. 

Because it's not running "vanilla" Android like the Nexus 7, if you buy the FonePad you will probably have o wait a lot longer for  updates, because Asus will likely take its time making sure all its apps play nice with any new Android software. If you are a dedicated Android fan who thirsts for bleeding -edge software ,the FonePad probably is not for you .

 Price and release date

 The FonePad will be landing in the U.K. between April and June, likely toward the end of June and costing £179, or 219 euros in the rest of the continent.That's a tad more expensive than the Nexus 7 , so it will need to impress in terms of performance and battery life.

It will reach Asia- Pacific around the same time for$249. Unfortunately there's
no word on a release in the U.S., but Asus does have a habit of bringing its devices stateside. Fingers
crossed ,folks.
 Stay tuned for the full review, and let me know in the comments whether you'd buy this TABLET..


Post a Comment