ASUS unveils the Fonepad, a tablet that can make phone calls

What do you get when you flip “PadFone?” Why, Fonepad, of course. That’s exactly what ASUS announced today at Mobile World Congress. The Fonepad shakes things up a bit as a 7-inch 1280×800 tablet which can make phone calls. It’s a trend that seems to be growing by the day, as competitor Samsung also announced an edition of the Galaxy Note 8.0 that could make phone calls.

The Fonepad will leverage Intel Atom technology with the Z2420 stuffed inside. It’s not bleeding edge processing technology, but the chipset should make for a more affordable tablet for folks who don’t want to spend too much. The Fonepad will launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and you can expect the usual suite of customization from ASUS on top of that.

Other specs of the Fonepad include 1GB of RAM, storage capacities of 8GB and 16GB with up to 32GB of additional storage available via microSD, a 3 megapixel camera on the rear and a 1.2 megapixel camera on the front, and more. The device will launch aside an assortment of accessories, including the VersaSleeve and Turn Case. Both cases offer stands for viewing the tablet in an upright position for watching videos and using it as a display for other purposes.

ASUS will roll the Fonepad out globally starting next month, with the US getting the 8GB variant with camera for $250, and Europe getting the 16GB option without a camera for €219. The VersaSleeve and Turn Case cost €19.99 and €39.99, respectively. Read on for full press details.

ASUS Announces 7-inch Fonepad™ with 3G Mobile Data and Voice-Calling
Built-in 3G for fast mobile data and full telephony support give two-in-one
flexibility at a competitive price

Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain (25th February, 2013) — ASUS today announced Fonepad™, a competitively priced handheld with 3G voice and mobile data for all the features of a smartphone, with the versatility of a 7-inch tablet. Powered by the new Intel® Atom™ Z2420 processor with Android 4.1, Fonepad™ features a vibrant HD display with IPS technology for wide viewing angles and outstanding clarity.
“It is ideal to have a larger screen with entertainment, social media and other online activities now playing an increasingly important part in our mobile lifestyles,” said Jonney Shih, ASUS Chairman. “The incorporation of 3G mobile data with full telephony support, makes the Fonepad™ the perfect combination of a tablet and phone in one single device.”
“Extending our long history of collaboration, including most recently on the Ultrabook™ and Intel®-based tablets, we are very excited to be partnering with ASUS again,” said Hermann Eul, Intel® vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group. “Intel’s new Atom™ Z2420 processor delivers the power, performance and flexibility required to accommodate a range of devices and market needs. We think the ASUS Fonepad™ is a very innovative device in an emerging category of 3G tablets with telephony features.”

Beautiful metallic design with Intel® Atom™ performance
ASUS Fonepad™ is ideal for people who value both the voice communication features of a smartphone and the entertainment opportunities afforded by a tablet, but prefer the convenience of carrying just one device. Fonepad™ is a sleek and compact tablet with a metallic design that can be held comfortably in one hand, thanks to its light 340g weight and slim 10.4mm profile. Powered by the latest Intel® Atom™ Z2420 processor with full Android compatibility, Fonepad™ features a perfect balance of performance and energy efficiency, with hardware-accelerated 1080p Full HD video decoding and up to nine hours of battery life.
The 7-inch screen features 10-point multi-touch, and a crisp 1280 x 800 HD resolution for crisp, readable web page text and incredibly detailed photos. IPS technology ensures vibrant color with 178-degree wide viewing angles, and images that are clear and bright, even outdoors.

Built-in 3G for mobile data and voice calls
Built-in 3G with HSPA+ mobile data means ASUS Fonepad™ is an always-connected mobile device for seamless web browsing, fast downloads from Google Play Store, and smooth streaming of audio and video. Thanks to its full 3G telephony support, Fonepad™ can also be used for voice calls using the built-in noise-cancelling digital microphone or an optional Bluetooth headset. With just one mobile data plan to pay for, running costs are also much lower than those of a separate smartphone and 3G tablet.
Fonepad™ is available in 8GB and 16GB capacities, and has an SD card slot for up to 32GB of additional storage. All models feature a front 1.2-megapixel camera for easy video chat and an optional rear 3-megapixel autofocus camera with 720p HD video recording. ASUS SonicMaster audio technology with MaxxAudio 3 processing by Waves ensures clear, well-rounded sound quality.

Exclusive ASUS apps and accessories enhance productivity
ASUS Fonepad™ comes with a number of exclusive ASUS productivity apps: 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. Fonepad™ users also get 5GB of free lifetime ASUS WebStorage for syncing and sharing data with other devices.
Two new optional accessories are also available for Fonepad™. Available in four snazzy colors, VersaSleeve 7 is a wraparound cover with a folding design that both protects Fonepad™, and props up the screen in two different positions for typing and watching video. Turn Case is a lightweight hardshell case for Fonepad™ that features a soft interior that keeps the screen clean and a built-in stand that puts the screen at the perfect angle for watching video.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING
ASUS Fonepad™ and accessories will be available globally from March 2013. Fonepad™ prices start from US$249 (MSRP) for 8GB storage with three-megapixel rear camera in APEC markets and from €219 (MSRP) for 16GB storage with no rear camera in Europe. VersaSleeve costs €19.99 and Turn Case €39.99 (both MSRP). Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

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  • Lennatron

    Only $250 and it makes phone calls? Great price Asus!

  • scoter man1

    Lol, now I can’t wait to start seeing the pictures of people with a 7″ tablet pressed up against their head.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Lol. Headsets/Speakerphone. Lol.

    • arrigob

      Ill’ do it, just you wait, lol.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5OT7V6QFBWBYH35WBE6VGTLBBY nuffinn

      edit…

  • blueyedsoul1

    Okay Asus, I love your products, but you officially made this too confusing. PadFone? FonePad? FapOne? Seriously, put someone else in charge of naming stuff.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      FapOne? I’ll wait for FapTwo… the french version. (obscure reference)

  • Steven Cannan

    Why the hell are all these tablets are being phones now? galaxy note 8 fonepad and one i forgot about lol

  • Wiganner

    Been doing this for years on my original Tab, hardly a new feature.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lona.bremer Lona Bremer

    So This is so great for people who can’t afford internet service plus a smart phone. Just order the sim card from straight talk or what ever and away you go with unlimited!!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5OT7V6QFBWBYH35WBE6VGTLBBY nuffinn

    Its funny….some, maybe many ppl complain that tablets are just toys. 2 come out with added functionality…and it gets hated on still.

    This and the Note 8 would be instant buys vs other tablets just for the phone features. I swore off Blue Tooth until last year. I didnt know what I was missing. And I use headphones when on the phone at times.

  • El_Frank

    Great price for a phone… If you need to replace your phone… This is not a bad buy.