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Asus Fonepad review

Asus flexes its hybrid muscle once again with a 7-inch tablet that makes calls

Our Verdict

As a smartphone, its use is negligible. But as a tablet, the Asus FonePad shines just as brightly as its Google-branded cousin, and while the small-tablet market is crowded the FonePad stands out. It's well made and offers a good selection of features for a good price.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 800

View full specification

For

  • Great LED-backlit screen
  • microSD storage
  • Premium metal chassis
  • Good battery life

Against

  • No rear camera
  • Poor speakers
  • Nexus 7 cheaper
  • Impractical for calls

Asus has packed the FonePad with as many features as possible, all of which would be rendered moot if the battery life fails to live up to expectations.

The Taiwanese company has fitted the FonePad with a 4270mAh battery. It's a larger model than the Nexus 7 and is calculated to take into account the 3G usage of the device.

Asus claims you'll get up to nine hours of use from the tablet with 720pHD video playing with brightness up at maximum and both 3G and Wi-Fi enabled.

Battery 1

The Li-polymer 16Wh battery is sealed in to keep the chassis as thin and light as it is. This means there's no option to prise off the cover and insert a replacement when you're spent, but considering how rare this option is on tablets, it's not a huge surprise.

One of the pre-loaded apps that arrives with the FonePad is the battery-bolstering Power Saver app. You can choose from three modes: ultra-saving mode, optimised mode and customised mode.

The first and second will eke out as much from the battery as possible by lowering screen brightness (still the biggest draw on the battery) and powering down apps. Ultra-saving mode will also disconnect from the network where possible to cut down on 3G drain.

Customised mode alters the power plan of the tablet depending on which scenario you're using. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any indicators of what scenario we were on, let alone how to change it.

Slightly more useful is the Power Usage Chart - found in the settings menu - that breaks down exactly which parts of the Asus FonePad are drawing the most power.

Our own usage testing of the FonePad pretty accurately mirrored Asus' 9-hour claim. We activated all connectivity (except 3G) and put brightness and volume to maximum then looped HD footage until the battery died. The FonePad managed 504 minutes (just under 8.5 hours) - an impressive result.

One of the biggest reasons to opt for a 7-inch tablet over a larger alternative is the portability, and battery life plays into this in a big way. The FonePad doesn't have any problems in this department and we recommend it if you want a bumper battery life.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
GPSYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA+
Product FamilyFonepad
Cellular Network SupportedGSM, WCDMA, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor ModelZ2420
ColourGrey
Operating SystemAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Brand NameAsus
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size17.8 cm (7")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Weight (Approximate)340 g
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Cellular Generation3.9G
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height196.4 mm
Width120.1 mm
Depth10.4 mm
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product NameFonepad Tablet
Product LineFonepad
Manufacturer Part NumberME371MG-1B035A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

ASUS fonepad™

Fun and Call in One

ASUS Fonepad features an Intel Atom Z2420 CPU and has a built-in 3G phone. The beautifully designed metallic finish and the 7" IPS display combine for your multimedia enjoyment.

Design Gallery
Close Up

Stunning 7" metallic finish design to fit in your palm. Fonepad is a tablet that retains the flexibility of a smartphone, but removes the need to carry two different devices.

Talk Anywhere
Always Connected

Full 3G telephony support means Fonepad can be an always-connected for seamless web browsing, and smooth streaming of audio and video. Fonepad can also be used for voice calls using the built-in noise-cancelling dual-mic or a Bluetooth headset and with just one mobile data plan to pay for, running costs are much lower than a separate smartphone and 3G tablet.

Limited Warranty1 Year