UPDATE: ASUS Malaysia contacted us and mentioned that there are NO PLANS to make the ASUS Fonepad available on DiGi. Instead, consumers can pop by PC Fair from 12th April to 14th April and check out their new promotion with CELCOM instead. We might be heading down there and getting more information on this promotion.
ASUS just had an event to launch the new Asus Fonepad ME371MG in Malaysia on 9th April 2013, Tuesday. The first ever Intel-based phablet to be in the market – truly a magnificence since the microprocessor giant is making its move to the smartphone world.
The Fonepad itself has specs as listed :
- Intel Atom Z2420 Processor with PowerVR SGX540 GPU
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (Update to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is confirmed)
- 7 inch LED 1280×800 IPS display (~170 ppi)
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB internal memory (expandable up to 32GB with microSD)
- 1.2MP front-facing camera, 3MP autofocus rear-facing camera, 720p video recording capable
- has GPS, Glonass, G-sensor, E-compass, proximity and ambient light sensor
- dimensions of 196.4×120.1×10.4mm
- 340 grams
- Support up to HSPA+ (No LTE)
Focusing on the combination of phone and tablet together (hence, a phablet), Asus’s approach is by making a tablet to be a phone instead of a phone to be a tablet. Claiming that the 7 inch form factor is the perfect size to fit the best of both worlds, and is “built for users who have a need for speed”, typically in internet speed and processing.
As said by the product manager of Asus, Tony Liao, the world of tablets, phones and PC are converging together, blurring the lines between each other, and it’s only smart to come up with a device that has the capabilities and perks of the three.
Comparing it to its biggest rival – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, it does show which is better.
Note that processors are not what you think they are – more cores doesn’t mean more performance, it’s all about the optimization. So as described above, even though that the Samsung is running on a dual-core, 1GHz TI OMAP 4430, it doesn’t mean that it will run as good as the Intel Atom does if it is not properly utilized. As the optimization gets better, there will be less battery juice wasted – as claimed by Asus, the Fonepad can run for up to an amazing 9 hours of use, 75.1 hours in standby and 32.5 hours talk time, all on 3G with its generous 4270mAh battery. I think that Intel really did great job in making the Atom processor optimized for mobile devices.
Of course the Asus Fonepad is not without its specialty as it also has a bunch of Asus-exclusive bells and whistles bundled along with the Fonepad. Let’s have a quick look at what are they about.
- Asus Studio – edit your pictures by adding filters, cropping and whatnot
- Asus Story – make a diary off the photos you have, like a photo journal
- Asus Splendid – take control of your Fonepad’s screen settings
- Audio Wizard – change the sound of the speakers though a list of pre-set equalizers
- Sonic Master with MaxxAudio 3 – greater audio driver to deliver more base and less distortion on a higher volume
- Floating app – have an app widget floating around the app you’re on, it even supports 3rd party widgets
- Supernote Lite + Webstorage – basically something like Google Drive, supports Microsoft Office files and offers a lifetime capacity of 5GB storage for free
What about the price of this great phablet you might ask? Well, for a device with such specs, its recommended retail price is at a low RM849 only.
The design of this thing is spectacular and well-built, feels extremely light and is very suitable for everyday use – especially to replace both your smartphone and tablet at the same time. With its seamless hiding of the microSD and SIM card slot under the removable plastic antenna cover, the anodized aluminium body really feels a lot better than and more beautiful its competitors. As said, this is a phablet so it also has dual-microphones like smartphones nowadays have to keep up with the phone call quality. A large 178 degree viewing angle on the 10-point multitouch 7 inch is made possible by the IPS display, which is also claimed to be unaffected if used outdoors, though only a 1280×800 resolution.
Of course, what’s the point if there are no colour schemes? This phablet is available in two colours, Titanium Silver and also Champagne Gold, shown in the slides below.
, Then again, it’s all thanks to this little magic, but more on that later.
Check out the video and the entire slide of the Asus Fonepad below!