ASUS refreshes its FonePad 7 phone / tablet with dual speakers, we go ears-on (video)

Nothing like a leaked video to get you pumped about a product. Of course, we're not suggesting that ASUS went out of its way to post information about the forthcoming Fonepad 7, but either way, that teaser piqued our curiosity. Now that ASUS has officially unveiled the product here at IFA, though, we can confirm these are fairly minor upgrades to the company's original 7-inch, talk-enabled phone / tablet crossbreed. Namely, ASUS moved to glossy back cover and (as we saw in that video) added an extra speaker on the front side.

Not that this isn't a good speaker setup. A number of companies have tried and failed to perfect the art of speaker placement, but we quite like what ASUS did here. For starters, they actually, you know, face you while they're playing. Quite the innovation, we know. And while they're placed near where you hold the device when it's in landscape mode, it's quite easy to grip it without muffling the sound. That said, we weren't able to get the sound all that loud when we played around with it in the echoey halls of Berlin's Hotel de Rome. The sound was easily drowned out by the admittedly larger MemoPad 10.

Gallery | 9 Photos

ASUS Fonepad 7 hands-on (late 2013)

Elsewhere on the tablet, you'll find a 1.2-megapixel camera, with a higher-res 5-megapixel version on the rear (that's up from 3.2MP). The speaker jack, meanwhile, sits up top, with the power button and volume rocker on the right side. There's also a microSD slot, which augments the built in 8, 16 or 32GB of built-in storage. As you'd expect, too, the internals have been souped up a bit, with an Intel Atom Z2560 processor now powering Android 4.2. All in all, there aren't a ton of changes to the ever-updating phone / tablet, just some subtle tweaks to make things a bit better.

Follow all of our IFA 2013 coverage by heading to our event hub!

ASUS Fonepad 7 Hands-on
Alexis Santos contributed to this report.
Show full PR text

ASUS Announces Next-Generation Fonepad 7

ASUS today announced the Fonepad 7, an updated version of the 7-inch Android device with full voice telephony for people who want smartphone features with a tablet-size screen. ASUS FonepadTM 7 features a new non-slip finish and faster HSPA+ 3G with up to 42Mbit/s download speeds.

Fonepad 7 is powered by an Intel® AtomTM Z2560 processor with Hyper-Threading technology for seamless multi-tasking performance with Android 4.2. The 7-inch display has a crisp 1280 x 800 resolution with IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology for wide viewing angles and excellent daylight visibility, while dual-front speakers with ASUS SonicMaster audio technology ensure high-quality sound.

Lightweight tablet with heavyweight features

Just 10.5mm thick and with a low 340g weight, ASUS Fonepad 7 (ME372CG) is highly portable, but perfect for entertainment on the go. A new smudge-resistant coating helps keep fingerprints at bay on the 7-inch screen display and Miracast wireless video streaming mirrors the display to compatible HDTVs for big-screen enjoyment.

Fonepad 7 features a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera, plus a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera with a 100 continuous-shot 'burst' mode and 1080p Full HD video recording. The 3950mAh battery provides up to 28 hours of 3G talk time, 35 days of standby time and up to 10 hours of video playback.

Built-in 3G with HSPA+ mobile data with download speeds up to 42Mbit/s and uploads of 5.76Mbit/s mean Fonepad 7 is an always-connected device for seamless web browsing. With full 3G telephony support across GSM and WCDMA bands, Fonepad 7 can also be used for voice calls using the built- in noise-cancelling digital microphone or an optional Bluetooth headset.

Exclusive ASUS apps

ASUS Fonepad 7 has a customized user interface that integrates social media information, with users being able to see their friends' latest social media updates on their contact list or incoming call notifications.

Fonepad 7 is available with either 8GB, 16GB or 32GB onboard storage and a microSDHC card slot, conveniently located on the side of the case, can be used to add more. 5GB of lifetime ASUS WebStorage is also included and ASUS WebStorage Office also provides a full Microsoft Office experience on the move.

The SuperNote app lets users draft notes and can even add images, videos, and voice memos to create multimedia notes. The Floating App also helps users multi-task by giving them the option to open up to six apps simultaneously onscreen.

Stylish and practical TriCover protection

ASUS Fonepad 7 also has an optional protective TriCover case made from durable synthetic materials that protects both the tablet back and screen. Available in three colors, TriCover has a folding cover that props up the screen at a comfortable angle for on-screen typing and watching video.