Asus could be working on a cheap, Intel-powered Android tablet

Asus is making a habit of introducing low-cost Android tablets. Now there’s evidence suggesting the company’s next model will feature a low-power Intel Atom processor instead of an ARM-based chip.

Bulgarian website tablet.bg has posted specs for an upcoming Asus ME371MG tablet, along with a picture of what’s allegedly the back of that tablet.

Asus ME371MG

Hints that a new tablet called the Asus FonePad K004/ME371MG was in the works have been making the rounds for a few days. If the post at tablet.bg is correct, it will be a 7 inch tablet with a 1280 x 800 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, and an Intel Atom Z2420 processor with PowerVR SGX540 graphics.

Intel’s Z2420 chip is designed for entry-level smartphones, so it’s not exactly a top tier processor. But it’s a 1.2 GHz x86 chip with support for hyperthreading and 1080p HD video playback and encoding.

Tablet.bg also reports that the upcoming Asus tablet will be available with up to 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a 4270mAh battery for up to 9.5 hours of battery life, and Android 4.1 software. It reportedly measures 0.4 inches thick and weighs 12 ounces.

The Asus Nexus 7 tablet is one of the most popular Android tablets around, thanks largely to its $199 price tag and a partnership with Google to sell it as a Google Nexus device.

Last month the company introduced an even cheaper tablet, the MeMO Pad ME172V. It’s a $149 tablet that will launch first in developing markets, but which should be available in the US in April. It has a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display and a 1 GHz VIA WM8950 processor with Mali 400 graphics.

According to tablet.bg, the Asus ME371MG tablet with an Atom processor will go on sale during the second quarter of 2013. Pricing hasn’t yet been unveiled.

via Notebook Italia

  • Sam Khan

    How long after an x86 tablet is introduced before someone will put Windows on it?
    I’m betting the week it’s introduced.

    Many netbooks introduced with Linux had Windows put on them by end users.

  • Dan Terabek

    Asus needs to “step up to the plate” a little more — $150 for a single core processor and a lower resolution screen — the new Novo 7 Venus from Ainol Electronics that launched last week wins hands down over Asus and the Venus is available now at a site in the U.S. called TabletSprint and compares most to the Nexus 7 tablet but for considerably less – matching key features, including a Quad Core processor, a high resolution multi-touch 1280×800 IPS screen, 16GB memory, a front camera, Android O/S and Google Play Store preinstalled — while also offering a number of features the Nexus 7 doesn’t – including a 2-megapixel rear camera, a MicroSD memory card slot, an HDMI 1080p port to download and watch movies directly from a tablet on to a large screen TV and also project & play video games on to a big screen; plus more ways to connect to the internet, including Ethernet as well as 3G/4G Wireless connection through its USB port with a 3G/4G USB adapter.

    • http://nortonpeabody.blogspot.com/ Norton Peabody

      Good luck returning your Ainol tablet to Walmart for exchange or refund….Don’t get me wrong as I totally agree with you in principal and am a big fan (and owner) of the inexpensive and ever improving Chinese branded electronics. However Asus isn’t initially marketing this thing to us Liliputing reading, MK802 owning tinkerers in the U.S.A. Heck most folks have never heard of an Android stick pc or Onda tablet. The significant thing about this device for me is the Intel x86 chip and the interesting possibilities with regards to alternative operating systems, inexpensive Windows or Linux tablet anyone….I for one am glad to be able to get the Chinese stuff before it becomes more popular causing demand and prices to go up…Cheers…

    • max1001

      Venus has an atrocious GPU .

  • Paolo

    The opposite is also true. I am writing this message from a formerly windows notebook now equipped with linux and if android for arm would run on m$ rt tablets I am sure more than one would make the switch.

    • CyberGusa

      Some might but the vast majority of people never change the OS the system comes with, this is one of the reasons why desktop Linux users never got more than about 5% of the entire PC user base and why even among Android users a large percentage are still using older versions.

      Basically, unless it’s automatic and/or provided by support for the device then most people don’t bother to go the extra step of doing it themselves.

      Point is rather moot though because I don’t believe this Medfield can run full Windows. It’s specifically optimized for mobile devices and all devices released with it have only run Android.

      This particular model is also the low end version of the series specifically intended for low cost devices.

      The original Medfield, Z2460/80, is actually the mid-range offering and this new one is to help spread the range of offerings into the lower end of products and emerging markets.

      Though that may change with the higher end dual core version, Z2580, coming out later that’ll also come with a much more powerful dual GPU GMA based on the SGX544. Essentially better than even the Clover Trail SoC, it should be the better candidate for running a range of OS.

      Also, hopefully, by then they may have better driver support but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that as Imagination PowerVR GPU’s are pretty notorious when it comes to supporting Linux.

      So right now, x86 optimized Android, WP8, W-RT, and W8/Pro are the only things you can be reasonably sure can run on this generation of ATOM processors.

      While GNU/Linux only has generic driver support for now…

  • lolzman234

    @ Dan terabek

    You do realize that a single core atom found on these phones/tablet were benchmarked by anandtech to be nearly if not faster than dual core krait cpus(they are something like corex a15) the only let down is the gpu and even then its clocked quite high so its still competitive.

  • Chad Page

    This is quite possibly a phablet, the article says it makes phone calls. It’s probably just 3G like the Yolo phone in Kenya, but still, at the right price this could be pretty cool.

    • CyberGusa

      Medfield ATOMs are specifically for the mobile device market, so it’s for Smart Phones, Phablets, etc.

      Price should be pretty low, since this is the low end version of the Medfield being used and parts costs are suppose to be competitive with ARM.