Summary: The ASUS Fonepad is excellent as a compact tablet PC. It is easy to use, fast, intuitive, and the screen is bright, crisp, with vivid colors. It is light and easy to carry in a small purse or a big jacket pocket.
However, if you buy a Fonepad to be your main mobile phone, you will probably be disappointed. It is too big to be a cell phone, and you will probably look ridiculous with such a big device at the side of your head.
Excerpt: The Nexus 7 was a breakthrough product for Google. For too long Android tablets had struggled to make an impression in a market dominated by Apple's iPad, and it was Asus that stepped up to the plate and gave Google the ideal hardware platform with which to shift the balance of power. However, the Nexus 7 is now a year old and there's a fair chance that owners will be on the lookout for potential upgrades.
Summary: Even though the Fonepad is able to support 3G calls and data, I only found myself briefly using the feature since I knew I could do so with this Android tablet. I think it’s safe to say a large majority of people will feel more comfortable making calls on their cell phone rather than having to fumble with throwing a SIM card into the Fonepad, and then holding a 7-inch tablet up to their ear for as long as they need for their call.
Excerpt: Note: The Asus Fonepad model being reviewed is equipped with 16GB of storage and only a front-facing camera. In some markets, Asus is offering a Fonepad model with a 3.2MP main camera in addition to the front-facing cam, but with only 8GB of on-board storage.
Pros: Solid build quality, microSD card slot, 3G connectivity for cellular data, Can make phone calls, send/receive text messages
Excerpt: Asus Fonepad is a low-cost 7-inch Android Jelly Bean tablet powered by Intel's Atom Z2420 1.2GHz single-core processor. In addition, it also comes with a 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, 3.2-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front-facing one, HSPA+ and Wi-Fi connectivity and a microSD memory card slot.
Pros: Verizon 4G LTE network is incredibly fast, 32GB microSD card included, Integrated kickstand works in portrait and landscape
Cons: Battery life is among the worst we�ve ever seen, No 4G LTE power toggle option, Kickstand in landscape orientation blocks microUSB port
Summary: The way we see it, the FonePad is more like a Jack-of-all-Trades rather than a device that specializes in certain categories. While it may not excel on one particular aspect, it’s worth noting that the FonePad has a little bit of everything, not to mention its phone functionality, which makes it a viable choice among 7-inchers.
Conclusion: The Fonepad will set you back $249 in the United States, and just under €200 in Europe. At this price, it’s an interesting proposition, but it’s clear that the Fonepad won’t be taking home any medals for best in class. We can’t recommend the Fonepad for everyone. The phone feature is interesting, but we suspect that only a fraction of users will actually use it.
Conclusion: If you are not in the target audience for the Fonepad (namely those who don’t want to carry a phone for calls alongside a tablet for work) then the ASUS tablet will be less appealing. It is, however, a cheap Android tablet you’ll enjoy most of the time, if you are light-to-moderate as far as your daily usage is concerned.
Pros: phone functionality via earpiece, affordable price, decent performance, good battery life, solid build quality,
+ aluminum back,
+ close to stock experience
Cons: screen is extremely difficult to clean (and maintain clean),
- mediocre screen, no main camera on our review unit, decent performance, Nexus 7-like design becoming old,
- back cover is difficult to remove,
- only Android 4.1.2 out of the box,
- Android tablet app ecosystem is poor (but constantly improving)