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Hands-on with the ASUS FonePad

We are here in beautiful Cebu where ASUS just launched three tablets, one of which is the recently announced ASUS FonePad, the 7-inch phone/tablet which has a U.S. street price of just $249.

ASUS FonePad 01

The ASUS FonePad can be liken to the numerous 7-inch Galaxy Tab’s Samsung have that has full telephony functions. What makes he FonePad different is that it’s powered by an Intel Atom processor and its relatively affordable price.

ASUS FonePad 02

The FonePad has a 7-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS display that looks sharp when indoors but doesn’t have the brightness for a clear display when used outside. It’s also hard to believe that it uses an IPS panel because viewing angles is somewhat restricted (or maybe it’s the brightness again).

ASUS FonePad 03 ASUS FonePad 04

The front (and even the size) looks like your typical ASUS 7-inch tablet (Nexus 7 or MemoPad) and the back has a polished aluminum finish. Removing the top part reveals a hatch for the microSIM and microSD slots.

ASUS FonePad 05

On the left side you’ll find the Power/Sleep button and the volume rocket. Not a fan of the craftsmanship on these buttons which you can see are a bit uneven.

ASUS FonePad 06

At the bottom you’ll get your 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB charging/data port which is more convenient compared to other tablets that have their own proprietary charging ports.

So how does a single-core 1.2GHz Intel Atom perform for Android. Well since the processor has hyper-threading, it’s pretty comparable to decent dual-core processors out there.

Here are the Antutu and Quadrant benchmark scores if you’re interested:

ASUS FonePad Antutu ASUS FonePad Quadrant

But overall, the performance matches mid-range Android phones of today. It handles Jelly Bean quite well, even Temple Run was decent at most. There are a few hiccups here and there but that’s because I’m used to the speed of a quad-core phone.

Rounding up the features list is a so-so 3-megapixel rear camera (no flash) that can capture HD videos, a 1.2-megapixel front camera for your video chats, and 1GB worth of RAM. Internal storage is at 16GB and there’s support for USB OTG. Battery is rated at 4,270mAh which should be good for about 9 hours.

Update: ASUS PH is planning to ship in 32GB version of the FonePad which will certainly bring up the price. Unnecessary in my opinion considering that there’s already a microSD slot for this phablet.

The ASUS FonePad will be available in the 2nd quarter of the year (most probably April) with a “œyour-guess-is-as-good-as-mine” price. If this tablet retails for Php15k, then it might be the value-for-money choice for those who wants a phone and a tablet in one package.

ASUS FonePad Specs:
7-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS 10-finger multitouch display, 216 ppi
1.2GHz single-core Intel Atom Z2420 processor
PowerVR SGX540 GPU
1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD up to 32GB
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
3-megapixel rear camera, no flash
720p HD video recording @ 30 fps
1.2-megapixel front camera
HSDPA 21 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
No FM Radio
GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
4270mAh battery
196.4 x 120.1 x 10.4 mm
340 g
SRP: TBA (available Q2 2013)
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  • Anti_kimchi

    Did I miss the spec in the sim? Regular sim or micro?
    SMS/phone capable?
    What’s the Sammy tab 2 W/3G run, 17k?

    Imagine, 16k = $400USD. NICE! Someone is lining his pockets.

    • Griswold

      it’s in the post itself. full telephony and uses micro sim.

      they should price this lower than the tab in order to compete.

  • Les

    I don’t see an SMS icon… can it handle sms?

  • FMZ

    imo, that Antutu score should be cause for concern.

  • Anti_kimchi

    It’s like we consumers can NEVER win. We can’t ever get a “deal” isn’t there one maker out there who can give us GOOD PARTS/SPECS at a great price? How much would you estimate sammy makes on each s3 it sells? I’d say $350+

  • Anti_kimchi

    Have you guys heard about running UBUNTU on a Sammy galaxy nexus? That’s what I’m in the market for. I think 4.7-8″ is as big as I should go.

  • tmcr7

    yung tab 2 na 3g ay 15k na lang din. samsung na lang kung ganun.

  • Anti_kimchi

    No replies so I guess the answer’s no.

  • totshi

    15k? no thanks, anbagal pa..

  • Greg

    Liars. The Fonepad does not support USB OTG and video out. Did you just automatically assume that it supported it? Everywhere on Google they say that the Fonepad DOES NOT support USB OTG. Owners, reviewers, and others who have tried the device. Your credibility just went down.

    • Eason

      Hi There,

      Eason here, the Technical PR Specialist of ASUS Philippines

      FonePad’s OTG function is currently disabled due to that we opted to get android first to update their USB compatibility with the latest USB flash disks and other devices. The FOTA update of the FonePad is continuous where we we’re advised that the OTG function will be updated by estimated time of June 2013

      • Vince

        Any update on the OTG function?

  • Vishal

    I am using this tablet for about 10 days and the performance has been superb.
    Please notify me when OTG function has been updated.

  • Mandeep Singh

    I have bought fonepad just yesterday today i tried to use otg cable but it didnt work . Sad for that..

    • Vince

      OTG function still unavailable? I hope they update us soon. It would really want this feature enabled before I decide to get this. Buzz! buzz! ASUS