ASUS FonePad – A Tablet Which Can Make Actual Phone Calls
Since their incarnation, Tablets have been sweeping the world by storm and are still pretty much doing so. These days Tablets are available in all shapes, sizes and specs and mostly ranging between 7 and 10 inches. These days OEM’s have been given an opportunity to showcase their products and devices at the Mobile World Congress currently taking place in Barcelona, Spain. Among the companies who intended to stand out from the others was ASUS who announced the very first of its kind tablet called the “Fonepad” which is (you guessed it right) able to make actual phone calls. The 7 inch 1280×800 tablet comes with Intel’s Z2420 1.2 GHz mobile processor, the latest variant of portable processors based on the Intel Atom technology along with 1GB RAM and would be running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
ASUS further added that that devices would be available in the 8GB, 16GB and 32GB variants with support for additional storage made available via microSD along with a 3 megapixel camera on the rear and a 1.2 megapixel camera on the front. A few accessories were also announced at the mega event which definitely go hand-in-hand with the device. These include the VersaSleeve and Turn Case which both offer stands for viewing the tablet in an upright position for watching videos and using it as a display for other purposes.
The Fonepad is set to be made available to the general public from next month with a stated launch price in the US for $250 for the 8GB variant and €219 for the 16GB variant for our friends in Europe. The two accessories, VersaSleeve and Turn Case would be available for €19.99 and €39.99 respectively. Here is what ASUS had to say at its official Press Release,
ASUS Announces 7-inch Fonepad™ with 3G Mobile Data and Voice-CallingBuilt-in 3G for fast mobile data and full telephony support give two-in-one
flexibility at a competitive price
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain (25th February, 2013) — ASUS today announced Fonepad™, a competitively priced handheld with 3G voice and mobile data for all the features of a smartphone, with the versatility of a 7-inch tablet. Powered by the new Intel® Atom™ Z2420 processor with Android 4.1, Fonepad™ features a vibrant HD display with IPS technology for wide viewing angles and outstanding clarity.
“It is ideal to have a larger screen with entertainment, social media and other online activities now playing an increasingly important part in our mobile lifestyles,” said Jonney Shih, ASUS Chairman. “The incorporation of 3G mobile data with full telephony support, makes the Fonepad™ the perfect combination of a tablet and phone in one single device.”
“Extending our long history of collaboration, including most recently on the Ultrabook™ and Intel®-based tablets, we are very excited to be partnering with ASUS again,” said Hermann Eul, Intel® vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group. “Intel’s new Atom™ Z2420 processor delivers the power, performance and flexibility required to accommodate a range of devices and market needs. We think the ASUS Fonepad™ is a very innovative device in an emerging category of 3G tablets with telephony features.”
Beautiful metallic design with Intel® Atom™ performance
ASUS Fonepad™ is ideal for people who value both the voice communication features of a smartphone and the entertainment opportunities afforded by a tablet, but prefer the convenience of carrying just one device. Fonepad™ is a sleek and compact tablet with a metallic design that can be held comfortably in one hand, thanks to its light 340g weight and slim 10.4mm profile. Powered by the latest Intel® Atom™ Z2420 processor with full Android compatibility, Fonepad™ features a perfect balance of performance and energy efficiency, with hardware-accelerated 1080p Full HD video decoding and up to nine hours of battery life.
The 7-inch screen features 10-point multi-touch, and a crisp 1280 x 800 HD resolution for crisp, readable web page text and incredibly detailed photos. IPS technology ensures vibrant color with 178-degree wide viewing angles, and images that are clear and bright, even outdoors.
Built-in 3G for mobile data and voice calls
Built-in 3G with HSPA+ mobile data means ASUS Fonepad™ is an always-connected mobile device for seamless web browsing, fast downloads from Google Play Store, and smooth streaming of audio and video. Thanks to its full 3G telephony support, Fonepad™ can also be used for voice calls using the built-in noise-cancelling digital microphone or an optional Bluetooth headset. With just one mobile data plan to pay for, running costs are also much lower than those of a separate smartphone and 3G tablet.
Fonepad™ is available in 8GB and 16GB capacities, and has an SD card slot for up to 32GB of additional storage. All models feature a front 1.2-megapixel camera for easy video chat and an optional rear 3-megapixel autofocus camera with 720p HD video recording. ASUS SonicMaster audio technology with MaxxAudio 3 processing by Waves ensures clear, well-rounded sound quality.
Exclusive ASUS apps and accessories enhance productivity
ASUS Fonepad™ comes with a number of exclusive ASUS productivity apps: Floating App for easy management of running apps and multi-tasking; SuperNote lite for handwritten notes and drawing; and WebStorage Office Online for Microsoft Office-compatible document editing on the move. Fonepad™ users also get 5GB of free lifetime ASUS WebStorage for syncing and sharing data with other devices.
Two new optional accessories are also available for Fonepad™. Available in four snazzy colors, VersaSleeve 7 is a wraparound cover with a folding design that both protects Fonepad™, and props up the screen in two different positions for typing and watching video. Turn Case is a lightweight hardshell case for Fonepad™ that features a soft interior that keeps the screen clean and a built-in stand that puts the screen at the perfect angle for watching video.
AVAILABILITY & PRICING
ASUS Fonepad™ and accessories will be available globally from March 2013. Fonepad™ prices start from US$249 (MSRP) for 8GB storage with three-megapixel rear camera in APEC markets and from €219 (MSRP) for 16GB storage with no rear camera in Europe. VersaSleeve costs €19.99 and Turn Case €39.99 (both MSRP). Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.
Now the only question or should I say an ambiguity that arises in everyone’s mind is that whether a device so big would actually be comfortable to use for making day to day calls ? Just imagining how one would look holding a 7 inch tablet to their ears is a little weird don’t you think ? I would rather just stick to the usual (and little less embarrassing) methods for making calls simply by using the hands free options or by just using my regular smartphone. Would you ?