ASUS is taking the phablet category to a whole new level with its just announced 7-inch Intel-powered Fonepad. ASUS refers to the Fonepad as a tablet first, but with its included 3G with HSPA+ data connectivity and integrated telephony functionality, the slate also doubles as a massive smartphone.
At 7.7 x 4.7 x 0.4 inches and 12 ounces, the Padfone matches up nicely with the Google Nexus 7 (7.8 x 4.7 x 0.4 inches and 12 ounces) and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 7-inch (7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches and 13.9 ounces). Up front, the Fonepad sports a 7-inch 1280 x 800 resolution IPS display and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. Like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, there's no rear-facing camera on the Padfone.
Inside, the Padfone packs an 1.2-GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU with 1GB of RAM and 16 GB of onboard storage. A 32GB microSD card slot will let you stretch your storage even further. Audio performance is handled by MaxxAudio processing by Waves.
Bundled software includes ASUS' Floating App, which allows users to manage running apps and multitasking; SuperNote Lite and WebStorage Office Online. You'll also get 5GB of free storage via ASUS WebStorage. Accessories for the Fonepad include the VersaSleeve 7 folding cover and hard-shell Turn Case case.
So far, ASUS has no plans to bring the Fonepad to the U.S., but the company did provide a U.S. pricing of $249.