Asus Fonepad hands on: First Impressions

Asus Fonepad hands on preview

Asus has recently join the phablet market with its unique Fonepad device. Asus Fonepad is designed as a mid-segment tablet with 7-inch display size but as the current market demand for tablets with voice calling support rises, the Taiwanese computer manufacturer has put such identical functionality to earn high sales. On the best part, Asus has smartly maintained the pricing of the Fonepad device in India which makes it a strong competitor against the Google’s marketed Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 P3100. We have got a chance to play with Asus Fonepad at the time of its launching in India, so here is our hands on preview on the newest phablet by Asus.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad

However, there are several screen sizes available in the current tablets market but still we just love the 7-inch form-factor as it does not need a large-sized palm for all the operations. For a tablets newbie, a 7-inch size is just perfect but still the demand of large-screen devices roaming the market which influence the manufacturer as well. Asus Fonepad tablet has the same best screen-size of 7-inch and there is an IPS panel underneath for better brightness and it also helps in attaining some decent viewing angles. The display has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels which produces 216 ppi pixel density. There is no physical controlling key available on the front but there are four on-screen keys. On the top of the display, there is an earpiece at the center for making voice calls possible and a 1.2-megapixel secondary camera for VoIP and video chatting support. The front-facing camera also supports 720p (HD) video recording.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with 7-inch display

On the part of built quality and designing, Asus has made the rear with a brush aluminum and the front part is wholly covered with the display glass. The Fonepad actually has premium designing which makes another reason to buy this over the competition. On the other side, the display is prone to scratches and fingerprint magnetic too. Considering the aluminum construction, the tablet has decent weight of 340 grams. Overall, there is no issue with the built and designing of the tablet.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with decent built

On the right, there are two physical keys, as a power/lock key and a volume rocker. The left is completely bare with no controls.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with power/lock key and volume rocker on right

On the bottom of the Fonepad, there is a 3.5mm jack for audio output, a pinhole microphone for attending the calls and a microUSB port for data syncing and charging capability. A loudspeaker grill is placed on the bottom-rear which would muffles sound when placed onto a mattress.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad bottom view

On the part of rear camera, the Fonepad has a 3-megapixel camera on the top-center, which is protected by a metallic ring. The camera houses an auto-focus sensor and on our testing it produces decent results, though we’ll cover more in our in-depth review later.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with 3-megapixel camera on the rear

The rear of the Fonepad clearly shows that the tablet is powered by an Intel processor inside and interestingly, it is claimed to be the first 7-inch tablet to have Intel Atom Z2420 chipset. The chipset packed with a 1.2GHz CPU, PowerVR SGX540 GPU and 1GB of RAM. For storage, there is 8GB on-board flash storage along with microSD support for further expansion. Above the rear camera, there is a removable cover and a secondary microphone is placed on the top of the frame for noise cancellation.

Taking the rear cover out, the Fonepad has a microSIM slot and a microSD card slot underneath along with a couple of antennas.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with microSIM card slot and microSD card slot

The Fonepad comes with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system out of the box and Asus has also promised an update to Android 4.2 in the coming future. Along with the taste of Jelly Bean, the Fonepad has a proprietary UI. The Fonepad also bundled with some pre-installed apps including SuperNote lite, WebStorage Office Online and Floating App.

On the connectivity part, there is Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, A-GPS and the tablet also supports HSPA+ mobile data support via any 3G network.

Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad with voice calling functionality

Overall, Asus Fonepad is a nice tablet and it can be a perfect choice as a secondary device. However, users can also use it as a smartphone but lesser battery support might need a charging solution on the go. With Android Jelly Bean support and voice calling functionality, Asus Fonepad will be a decent choice in the 7-inch segment. We’ll of course cover more when we spend some days with the new Fonepad, so stay tuned for an in-depth review.

4.5 / 5 stars     
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