We knew ASUS was planning to launch a product called FonePad, a 7-inch tablet with built-in phone functionality (just like the Galaxy Note 8.0 from Samsung). Mobile World Congress 2013 is taking place in Barcelona, and ASUS has finally taken the veil off Fonepad.
Fonepad is a relatively affordable 7″ Android Jelly Bean tablet that is capable of dealing with 3G voice and mobile data. The highlight however is that this particular device isn’t powered by an ARM processor, but instead makes use on an Intel Atom Z2420. Even though it’s using an Intel processor, the device offers full Android compatibility and good balance of performance and energy efficiency. Asus claims that the battery pack in the Fonepad will have enough juice to power up the device for nine hours while it is doing hardware-accelerated 1080p Full HD video decoding.
As per Jonney Shih, ASUS Chairman, and Hermann Eul, Intel vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group:
It is ideal to have a larger screen with entertainment, social media and other online activities now playing an increasingly important part in our mobile lifestyles. The incorporation of 3G mobile data with full telephony support makes the Fonepad™ a perfect combination of tablet and phone in one single device…
Extending our long history of collaboration, including most recently on the Ultrabook and Intel-based tablets, we are very excited to be partnering with ASUS again. Intel’s new Atom Z2420 processor delivers the power, performance and flexibility required to accommodate a range of devices and market needs. We think the ASUS Fonepad is a very innovative device in an emerging category of 3G tablets with telephony features.
Talking of the hardware, as said before, it is powered by Intel Atom Z2420 that is clocked at 1.2 GHz and is accompanied by 1GB of RAM, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The device runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box and has an HSPA+ radio too. Powering the FonePad is a 4,270mAH which will supposedly give 9 hours of battery life, something that has to be verified hands on.
In terms of appearance, this ASUS product comes with a smooth metal back which is available in tints including gray and gold. The device has appearance similar to Nexus 7, which isn’t surprising as Nexus 7 was manufactured by ASUS. On the rear hides the antenna and underneath that lies the micro-SIM slot and the microSD reader. The device comes with 16 gig of storage on board, but the microSD card slot supports up to 32 gig cards should you require additional storage. FonePad a 7 inch IPS display which has a resolution of 1,280 x 800. Above the screen lies the 1.2-megapixel front camera.
The ASUS Fonepad will hit the shelves in UK in late Q2 at £179 (inc VAT) for the 16 GB version. In the US, this price turns converts to $249, available in March. What are your thoughts on ASUS FonePad? Would you consider buying this low-cost intel powered device? Let us know!