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Asus Fonepad: As A Tablet, Well-Built, But As Phone A Ridiculous Concept

It is one of such tablets or smartphones that are also known as doohickeys or phablets. Like Samsung Galaxy Note 2, one can make calls on it and it also supports large screen. With the screen size of 7 inches, Asus has gone to all the lengths to make this FonePad appear as very absurd. Holding this tablet to the head in order to take or make calls looks really ridiculous.

The product is quite good a tablet. It performs quite well and has sharp screen with durable and comfortable build. But if one is in search of a tablet only then Nexus 7 should be a better choice.

The FonePad is available in UK now bit Asus doesn’t have any plans of releasing the device in US.

Quick Specifications

Display type 7 in
OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
RAM 1 GB
Processor Intel Atom 1.2 GHz
Dimensions (WxDxH) 10.4 mm
Weight 340 g
Manufacturer: Asus
Part Number: CNETAsus Fonepad

 

Product Specifications:

Display Type 7 in
  Display Resolution 1280 x 800
General Operating System Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Processor Processor Intel Atom
  Processor Clock Speed 1.2 GHz
Memory Flash Memory 16 GB
  RAM 1 GB
Miscellaneous Features Front camera , Expandable memory
Dimensions & Weight Depth 10.4 mm
  Weight 340 g

 

Features and Design

Just like Asus Memo ME172V, Asus FonePad is also an Asus-made Nexus redesigned. The size is roughly the same and the similar silver trim round the edge, but rather than a backside that is grippy and leathery like Nexus 7, it features a back which is of silver aluminium. It is still comfortable to hold Nexus 7 but the somewhat lighter FonePad’s metal body does feel quite durable.

 

Asus FonePad

Google Nexus 7

Apple iPad Mini

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Weight in pounds 0.70 0.74 0.68 0.76
Width in inches (landscape) 7.7 7.8 7.87 8.2
Height in inches 4.7 4.7 5.3 5.3
Depth in inches 0.4 0.4 0.28 0.31
Side bezel width in inches (landscape) 0.9 0.8 0.25 0.7

The volume and power buttons are towards the left edge of the tablet that feels weird and awkward as it does on Memo. On its bottom edge there is Micro-USB port, microphone pinhole and a headphone jack. Front-facing camera is on top of bezel towards right and exactly to the left of phone speaker. On its back is the 3-megapixel rear-facing camera situated on top centre and with grille of speaker some inches right below it. The card slots for SIM and for microSD both are hidden under the removable panel which is above rear camera and close to the top, though the panel is somewhat difficult to be removed.

FonePad comes with the Android 4.1.2 and the interface it has follows same style lie that of Nexus 7, with an apps’ toolbar at right side or the bottom of screen, depending majorly on the orientation of tablet. Many useful customizations by Asus are also included. Most significant in these is Asus Splendid that allows one to adjust color saturation, color temperature and hue of the screen of tablet. There is a Vivid Mode option as well that boosts contrast. While one is making adjustments, there is the option of viewing the effect of your changes in real-time; the changes are regarding three different type of images: the image of current background, color bars or some colorful fruit pictures.

Screen options have been seen on tablets before as well, but nobody could ever go deep to the extent of color customizations truly affecting the presentation of display. It is hoped that Asus does continue to offer as well as build on the feature

Option of Power Saver acts a little different than on other tablets of Asus. Rather than throttling CPU’s speed according to power profile selected, these profiles, namely Customized, Optimized and Ultra-saving will only affect display’s brightness for variable tasks such as browsing Web, watching videos and watching videos etc.

FonPad includes much built-in mini-app stuff: video player, calculator, battery meter and browser, among others. All these widgets run concurrently. Unlike Memo 172V, the performance stayed smooth even with the simultaneous running of the apps mentioned.

As A Phone:
FonePad is not only tablet, it also is full-fledged smartphone. Phone calls are easily received and made on FonePad just like Galaxy S4, but this device is much larger compared to the phablets of 5-inches as Optimus G Pro and Note 2. If you were of the view that those were not convenient or looked weird, then brace yourself for what FonePad has in store for you. To top it, headset is not a feature offered here so embarrassment in public while holding it to the ear for calling becomes imminent.

When calling to a landline, voices are breathy and fuzzy on both sides. It could be difficult for other party to listen unless mic is put right up to the mouth. Phone makes use of 850/900/1800/1900 bands of GSM while tops at 3.5G HSPA+ speeds. Longer time is taken to download apps compared to using LTE bands or Wi-Fi in San Francisco.

Texting also worked normall. It didn’t feel any different from typing e-mails on tablet.


Performance Of FonePad
FonePad makes use of IPS display that has screen with resolution of 1,280×800-pixel. Display delivers viewing angles that are wide, sharp text as well as customizable and abundant color. The outdoor mode provides a high brightness which unfortunately is still lower compared to the small tablets top-of-the-line.

Tested spec

Asus FonePad

Google Nexus 7

Apple iPad Mini

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Maximum brightness 242 cd/m2 288 cd/m2 399 cd/m2 458 cd/m2
Maximum black level 0.16 cd/m2 0.28 cd/m2 0.49 cd/m2 0.47 cd/m2
Maximum contrast ratio 1,512:1 1,028:1 814:1 974:1

Intel Atom Z2460 CPU offers stutter-free navigation of OS with a nearly constant refresh rate of 60 frames-per-second, but the apps take an annoyingly long time for loading. The back and front cameras are all right but perform towards the lower end of typical camera scale of tablet.

Games don’t run smoothly like on Nexus 7 but some like Modern Combat 4 and Riptide GP all produce frame rates that are acceptably playable. Inside, the single-core PowerVR SGX 540 GPU gets work done.

App downloads happen to be speedy on Wi-Fi and has almost a third of the speed used by AT&T SIM in the region of San Francisco. The battery life drains slowly for use in a day but that surely spring leak while using brightness mode of Outdoor screen.

Closing Statements

Even though the concept of holding the 7-inch tablet to the head and then speaking in it is ridiculous, yet this FonePad by Asus has a good performance along with quite a useful feature of screen adjustment. The tablet is all fine bit $275, which is 178 pounds is quite a lot if you do not plan on using phone feature. Asus-made Nexus 7 still happens to be the cheaper and faster tablet choice. Anyway, if you have the budget and don’t mind appearing ridiculous holding it as phone, then you might go for it.

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