Asus FonePad goes on sale in Malaysia, priced RM849
Beginning last week, the 7-inch Asus FonePad will be made available at local retailers here in Malaysia. Originally announced at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress in February, the tablet was slightly delayed from release, and it also costs a bit more than originally announced at MWC 2013.
The FonePad is a bit of an unorthodox phablet, as its size prevents it from being a true smartphone but has all the characteristics. Also, it has solid spcs for a tablet at the price range of RM 849, but is too small to be a true tablet. Hence, the expression “phablet” really seems suited to Asus’ latest bargain device.
The FonePad is powered by Intel’s Lexington processor, the Atom Z2420, a 1.2GHz CPU and PowerVR SGX540 GPU, with the Asia Pacific version possessing 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. Juiced with a 4270mAh battery, the version sold in Malaysia will have a 3.15MP rear camera with 2048×1536 pixels capable of 720p video recording, and a 1.2MP front-facing camera.
While a bit cumbersome to lug around in your pocket, the Asus FonePad does support voice calls with good active noise cancellation through the microphone, and features all the connectivity requirements of a regular smartphone on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean: Edge, WiFi 802.11, Bluetooth 3.0, and 3G networks.
As is wont with Asus tablets like the MeMoPad ME172E and Nexus 7, the design is acceptable and does not seem plasticky, and the 7” IPS LCD capacitive screen can fit in 800×1280 pixels for a 221ppi pixel density in 16M colours. Not to be confused with the Asus Padfone, the FonePad looks like a decent entry-level device with a powerful Intel Atom chip- other devices that utilise the Atom chipset could cost almost a third of the price more.
The Asus FonePad should be available through Malaysian physical and online retailers now.