CNET First Look
The Asus FonePad works well as a tablet, looks ridiculous as a phoneIt won't be released in the U.S., but the Asus FonePad is available to U.K. customers now. It's a good 7-inch tablet, but you may want to use it as a phone only in private.
The Asus FonePad that's Fone with an F, is yet another 7-inch tablet from Asus that closely follows the Nexus 7's design. It has pretty much the same measurements, however, the power and volume buttons are on the left edge as supposed to the right. There's a 1 megapixel front camera and a 3-megapixel back camera. Either camera is anything right home about and provides only decent picture and video quality. There's a micro USB port, headphone jack and mic on the bottom edge. On the back is a small speaker grill on the bottom here and there's a removable panel at the top. Once you actually remove the panel, which can be a bit tough, given that should require to push down and up to take it off, you'll find slots for both a SIM card and a micro SD card. The tablet has an aluminum back side that gives it a smooth, durable feel but if you ever use a Nexus 7, you're getting roughly the same level of comfort here. The phone pad shifts with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. There's an outdoor mode that dramatically increases the screen brightness making the already sharp ISP display a bit easier to see in sunlight. Asus Splendid is an app that allows you adjust the hue, color saturation and color temperature of the tablet screen. It also shows you how your changes will affect images before you sign off on them. Games ran pretty smoothly but don't expect Nexus 7 level of performance here. Now, I know this is kinda bearing the lead but the FonePad isn't just a tablet but an actual full-pledged phone. I use an AT&T SIM to test it and was unfortunately disappointed with its call quality. Yes, this is me holding a 7-inch tablet to my head and using it as a phone. I agree it's pretty silly looking and unfortunately, you'll have to buy your own headset as the tablet phone thing doesn't come with one. The FonePad is available now in the UK but Asus has no plans to bring it to the U.S. It will cost you about $275 if you import it or 178 pounds. At that price, it's not a bad deal if you're planning to use it as both a phone and a tablet. However, if you're strictly going tablet, I suggest the still faster, still cheaper Nexus 7. I'm Eric Franklin and this has been the first look at the Asus FonePad.