As the name implies, the Asus FonePad is a tablet that can make phone calls.
The Asus FonePad is an interesting animal, and one that may change how we think about tablets, phablets and smartphones. The FonePad is first a tablet. It has a 7-inch display with 1280 x 800 pixels (the same as the Asus-made Nexus 7). Interestingly, the FonePad packs a 1.2-GHz Atom Z2420 Intel processor. The processor is paired with 1 GB of RAM and the FonePad has a PowerVR SGX540 GPU helping push the polygons. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a 3-megapxiel camera and will ship with HSPA+ cellular radios. As far as tablets go, it doesn't offer best-in-class specs -- but then again, not all tablets can make cellular phone calls. In fact, many of them cannot.
Asus is pitching the FonePad as a do-it-all device that combines all the benefits of a small tablet with the data powers and voice functionality of a smartphone. It is the biggest phablet in an increasingly crowded market, though perhaps it pushes the boundaries past the breaking point. The FonePad's other killer feature: Its price. The FonePad will cost just $249 to own outright, with no contract, and no wireless data fees. Can a device like this really succeed? Asus is betting on it.