Hands on with Asus Fonepad: Intel’s Low-cost 7-inch Tablet [MWC 2013]
At Mobile World Congress 2013, ASUS announced some innovative devices that brought users great features and much more connectivity. One of those devices is the ASUS Padfone, which can double both as a top notch smartphone and with one move, it can be transformed into a tablet.
One other device that was presented at MWC 2013 by ASUS was the Fonepad, which, I’m sad to say, it didn’t impress too much. I find it ridiculous to talk with such a big device, unless you use wireless headphones. From the get-go, the ASUS Fonepad looked like a Nexus 7 or like the Asus MeMo Pad but with a face lift. We (technology journalists) might perceive the differences between these 7-inchers but there’s a high risk that consumers will judge only by the final selling price.
Hands on with Asus Fonepad
The full list of technical specifications ca be found in our cover of the ASUS event when the device was announced. But after playing with the Fonepad, we found that it works pretty good, not having too many lags, with an overall smooth transition between apps and screens. It seems that the Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.2 GHz is handling the job pretty well. The screen looks very good, being able to push out vivid colors, but at a 1280 x 800 resolution, we’ll just say it could have been better.
Also, the tablet has 1 GB of RAM for the user to play with and one nice feature that ASUS has for it is the SD card slot that can extend the device’s memory with an additional 32 GB. Apart from this, the rear camera that will be installed only on the US version of the Fonepad has a resolution of only 3 MP, whilst the front facing camera is almost a market standard of 1.2 MP. All of this runs, of course, o the Android 4.1.2 operating system that has some custom features just to sweeten the deal. Overall, on tech side, the device is good, but by no means impressive.
The exterior of the Fonepad is very stylish, a glossy screen at the front that might cause some problems in bright light. It also has a rigid and simple back with the Intel logo at the bottom along with a ribbon at the top that can come in two colors. Asus could have made a much wiser decision by applying the color to the entire back. When we tested the device, it felt premium, with very nice and textures and a warm feel.
One feature that makes the ASUS Fonepad stand out of the 7-inch tablet sector is the phone feature that allows users to send and receive calls just like on a regular smartphone. However, due to the size of the Fonepad, we think it looks simply ridiculous to talk on it, and it is also pretty hard to keep it in one hand. If someone will find the 3G connectivity useful on a tablet, then the ASUS Fonepad does make sense, but for use, we will definitely find some other way to spend the $249 that it costs (like buy a Nexus 7 and have $50 left).