ASUS Competes Against Itself with Fonepad, A 7-inch Intel-powered Android Phablet

Posted on February 25, 2013 5:50 PM by Rob Williams

We talked earlier about ASUS’ PadFone Infinity, and now we get to talk about the opposite – at least where the name’s concerned. It’s called Fonepad, and unlike the PadFone, which is a phone that can transform into a tablet, ASUS saves us the trouble here by making theĀ Fonepad a “phablet” – a tablet / phone hybrid. It’s not going to look quite as ridiculous as holding a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 to your ear, but it’d come close.

At $249 and 7-inches, the Fonepad best competes with ASUS’ own Nexus 7. However, Fonepad differentiates itself by bundling in cellular capabilities and an Intel Atom Z2420 processor in lieu of an ARM variant. Performance-wise, it’s hard to say how the two tablets will compare. Intel’s chip is a single-core model (with HyperThreading), whereas the Nexus 7 uses NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 quad-core, an A9-based ARM chip. Where the Fonepad could excel is with power-efficiency, something Intel values highly.

ASUS Fonepad

On that front, ASUS claims that along with the Fonepad’s 4,270mAh battery, Intel’s Atom will help deliver 9 hours of life for active use. Considering that this tablet also acts as a phone, that isn’t too shabby.

Another major benefit is that Fonepad ships unlocked, which will definitely help ASUS move lots of them. Rounding out these benefits, the Fonepad’s other specs include a 1280×800 IPS display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, 2G, 3G and HSPA+ support, a 1.2 megapixel front camera and 3.0 megapixel back camera and a weight of 340 grams.

For $200, the Nexus 7 looks to deliver a better content experience, but the cellular capabilities of the Fonepad will supersede that downside for a lot of people. So allow me to give you another: like the PadFone Infinity, there are no plans to launch Fonepad in the United States.

  • ET3D

    I hope Ubuntu arrives on it. With Wine. I’m dreaming of a tablet that could run old PC games.

    Not that this is bad as it is, for a tablet with 3G.

    • Rob Williams

      This would actually be a great tablet for Ubuntu Touch, given the Intel SoC in it. Sadly, that OS is quite a ways off, so I am sure we’ll have another generation of mobile products pass on by before it actually gets out the door.

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