The Asus Fonepad is either a huge phone or a small tablet, depending on how you want to look at it. Either way, it’s an Android device with a 7 inch display, WiFi and HSPA+ connectivity, and the ability to make phone calls.

In other words, it’s a tablet for people who aren’t sure they want to buy a phone and a tablet, or a phone for people who think phone screens are way too small. Or something.

Asus Fonepad

The Fonepad weighs about 12 ounces and measures 0.4 inches thick, making it similar in size to a Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire.

The tablet features a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, a 1.2 GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. It has a microSD card slot for additional storage, and a front-facing 1.2MP camera front-facing camera and a 3MP rear camera.


Asus says the tablet gets up to 10 hours of battery life. The Fonepad will be available in two colors: gray or gold.

This isn’t the only category-blurring device Asus has. The company’s Padfone Infinity takes a different approach toward the same problem by letting you use dock a 5 inch smartphone into a 10 inch tablet dock when you want to use a larger screen and get longer battery life.

Prices are expected to start at $249 for a Fonepad with 8GB of storage. That model will be available in March. Come April, a European model with 16GB of storage will launch for 219 Euros.

Despite Asus giving a price in US dollars for the base model of the phone, there are currently no plans to sell the Fonepad in the United States.

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10 replies on “Asus introduces the Fonepad, a 7 inch smartphone/tablet for $249”

  1. How long before someone installs Windows (7/8) on this? Too bad it only has 1 GB RAM.

    1. Why is that? What benchmarks do we have to compare with this version of Atom. From my experience Atoms devices running Android blow all ARM based procs out of the water.

      1. My experience of Intel Atom chips are that they are horrific with graphics and video. A pretty basic ARM chip can usually handle 1080p these days without much of a problem, but an Intel Atom chip that’s nearly 5x the price usually struggles.

        I’ll take the real world experience over benchmarks. . . .

        That and I’ll never forgive Intel for fubaring the graphics on lower computers/chips, like my laptop, all to push users to their higher end chips.

        I still remember some of the first netbooks that were under $300 and played 1080p without a problem. . . because they had NVIDIA graphics but Intel couldn’t let that stand. So they borked it! The wife’s netbook, purchased a couple years or more after these great netbooks that could play 1080p, can’t even get through 720p — the thing is a slow pig.

  2. What about play store compatibility – I ran Android X86 on and older asus netbook and while it did run and it was very very fast, there wasn’t much in the way of compatibility since everything is written and compiled for ARM architectures.

    Would it be a decent tablet experience with hardly any apps?

  3. if this is pentaband (compatible worldwide and with T-Mobile/ATT) i could see this being a decent competitor to the Nexus4 but no lte is a deal breaker… just took a look epic fail Asus you make a value GSM phablet but you throw us at the mercy of ATT (very expensive)

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