The Mobile World Conference (MWC) 2013 in Barcelona is underway, and today was the first day of action, and Asus wasted no time in showing off a new product. The company was one of the first up at MWC and was quick to reveal the FonePad, a 7-inch tablet that has been rumoured for some time. In fact we were pretty much certain that we would see the FonePad at MWC this year, and we were not disappointed, but still it is good to see this new slate from Asus in the flesh.
As the name suggests and as we expected, the FonePad is a tablet that doubles as a mobile phone, and while it is easy to just label this as a phablet, it actually isn’t, it is a tablet by definition. The first interesting thing about the FonePad is that it is the first Android device to come packed with the new 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor.
Of course the main appeal of the FonePad is that phone calling capability, but it is hardly a new innovation and we can find the same feature on the Galaxy Note 8.0 from Samsung. That puts it as a direct competitor to the Galaxy, and in fact that phone capability means that the FonePad does not become a direct competitor to the Nexus 7 from Google, which of course Asus builds.
Any design similarities with the Nexus 7 are quickly quashed thanks to an aluminum back plate, but it is interesting to note that the FonePad will be aiming for the budget market. Asus has said the slate will cost around $249, and in terms of specs the FonePad is shaping up as a decent deal.
It sports the same 7-inch screen found on the Nexus 7, so that means a resolution of 1280×800, 1GB of RAM and an HSPA+ radio. In the camera department things are a little more disappointing thanks to the FonePad only having a 3-megapixel rear snapper and 1.3-megapixel front facer. Asus has pasted its own custom skin over the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean running on the FonePad.