New Asus Tablets at MWC

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Asus, the company behind Google’s Nexus 7, has introduced the FonePad, a $249 7-inch tablet that can make phone calls. It features a 1,280×800 display, the same size and resolution as the Nexus 7, but lacks a rear camera, but includes a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, which should come in handy for video calling.

It uses an Intel 1.2GHz Atom Z2420, along with 1GB of RAM, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and an HSPA+ radio. The 4,270mAH battery is said to get up to nine hours of runtime, which would put this in the same league as other tablets.

You get 16GB of storage, but it also has a microSD card, with up to 32GB cards supported. That should be plenty of space, and gives the FonePad an edge over the Nexus 7, which has no expandable storage.

The FonePad is made from metal, is slim, too, measuring 10.4mm on its shallowest side. Asus says you’ll be able to grip this tablet comfortably with one hand, much like the Nexus 7.

The ASUS PadFone Infinity also announced today, is a 5-inch phone with a 1080p screen, Snapdragon 600 CPU and full HD tablet display. Like other PadFones, the handset slips into a tablet-like dock.

The new version ships with Android 4.2, and the display has grown from 4.7 inches to 5. The resolution is now 1080p (up from 720p), which comes out to 441 pixels per inch. The tablet’s 10.1-inch screen has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200, up from 1,280 x 800 in the last-gen model.

The smaller PadFone Infinity supports EDGE, GPRS, GSM, WCDMA, LTE and DC-HSPA+, along with WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, A-GPS and even GLONASS. ASUS has added a 13-megapixel autofocusing camera with an LED flash, five-element, f/2.0 lens and burst shooting at eight fps. There’s a front camera too, capped at 2MP. Meanwhile, the 2,400mAh battery promises up to 19 hours of 3G talk time, and up to 40 with the dock attached.

Like every other PadFone that’s been released, this won’t be available in the US, but the phone-and-dock combo will cost £799 / €999 when it goes on sale in Europe this April.

A lower cost version of the 7-inch MeMO Pad is coming to the US. Starting at $149 for an 8GB model, the MeMO Pad features a VIA WM8950 SoC. Inside the SoC, a single ARM Cortex A9 CPU runs at up to 1GHz and features an ARM Mali-400 of unknown core configuration. The total DRAM size hasn’t gone down compared to the Nexus 7, but display resolution has (1024 x 600 vs. 1280 x 800). Availability is expected in the US starting in April.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 9:18 am .

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