Although you might not think of Asus when you think of tablets the fact that their Nexus 7 for Google was such a great machine proved them to be a competitor in the tablet arena. Now the company has put together a table / mobile phone that, like the Nexus 7, sports a large 7 inch screen. Yes, it’s a tablet and a mobile phone combined and its name, wait for it, is the FonePad.
It has the same resolution as the Nexus 7 too, with 1,280×800 pixels, and is about the same weight at 340 grams. It is also very slim at just over 10 mm on the shallow side and, for users with big hands, it should be comfortable to use. Of course if you’re going to use it primarily as a mobile phone we recommend getting a blue-tooth enabled device or at least headphones because holding the FonePad up to your ear to make a call is going to look mighty silly.
It is a powerful platform and tablet, to be sure. Unlike the Nexus 7 which had a plastic body the FonePad has a metal body that adds a level of durability and heft that we like. It looks amazingly like the Nexus 7 besides that however, and if you own or have used a Nexus 7 you’ll be able to get around the new device quite well.
Powering the FonePad is Intel’s Atom Z2420 processor at 1.2 GHz and it comes with 1GB or RAM also to back it up. The graphics are powered by the PowerVR GX540 GPU which should make for some great gaming opportunities. 16GB of storage is included as well, an amount that can be upgraded to 32GB if you use a microSD memory card. (The Nexus 7 does not have this capability.) It also, at least in tests, gets about 9 hours of battery life off of 1 charge.
While we’ve already talked about the fact that making a phone call of the FonePad may make you look seriously silly, the fact is that if you’re in the market for a tablet you will be able to kill 2 birds with one stone with the FonePad because, well, it is a tablet and a phone combined. Indeed many consumers have been waiting for the day that their iPads and iPad minis were capable of making a phone call so that they could ditch their mobile and just use the tablet alone.
Although it’s not running the latest Android OS and still has the 4.1 Jelly Bean OS you’re still going to get the best features of an Android such as access to the Google Play store and lots of home screens that you can get busy filling with all of your fave apps and widgets. It even has some of its own apps like Floating App for multi-tasking and SuperNote Lite for those times when you feel like a little doodling or ‘writing’ something in your own hand.
Finally there’s the WebStorage Office Online that Asus offers, giving you 5GB of cloud storage for all of your docs and pics. Overall we think the FonePad is going to be a hit and, most likely, the start of things to come.