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 the 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.
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.