Asus announces Fonepad - a $249 7" Android slate powered by Intel Atom


Asus announced the Fonepad today, an affordable 7" Android Jelly Bean tablet with 3G voice and mobile data that place a smartphone in it. The kinky thing about the slate is that it is not powered by an ARM processor, but the new Intel Atom Z2420 with full Android compatibility and good balance of performance and energy efficiency, that allows up to nine hours of battery life during hardware-accelerated 1080p Full HD video decoding. 

All models have a front 1.2-megapixel camera for easy video chat and ASUS SonicMaster audio technology with MaxxAudio 3 processing by Waves ensures clear, well-rounded sound quality.

The 7" screen features 1280 x 800 HD resolution for crisp, and its IPS technology ensures nice colors with 178-degree wide viewing angles, and sufficient outdoor brightness. 

As per Jonney Shih, ASUS Chairman, and Hermann Eul, Intel vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group:

The Fonepad is not your typical plastic slate, as it sports a metallic chassis, yet still weighs only 340g, and with a 10.4mm body is fairly slender, too. Because of the built-in HSPA+ modem and 3G radio, you can browse the Internet on the go or us it for voice calls routed through the noise-cancelling digital microphone.

Two new optional accessories will be available at launch: VersaSleeve 7 comes with four colors, and is a wraparound cover with a folding design that both protects the tablet and places the screen in two different positions for typing or watching video. Turn Case is a lightweight hard-shell case with a soft interior and a built-in stand that puts the slate in a suitable angle for watching video.

ASUS throws in some productivity apps, too: 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.You also get 5GB of free lifetime ASUS WebStorage for syncing and sharing data with other devices.

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The ASUS Fonepad will be available in the UK late Q2 with 16GB of internal storage and up to 32GB of additional storage with a microSD card, starting from £179 (inc VAT) for the 16 GB Fonepad.  The VersaSleeve accessory will cost £19.99 and the Turn Case comes at £39.99. Other markets are to be announced at a later date.

In the US, this price turns into $249, available in March, while for Europe the Padfone will come at EUR 219, hitting shelves in April.

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