Call it, maybe?

Published: 24 November, 2013 09:23 IST | Sameer Mitha |

ASUS FonePad 7 is a good pick if you're looking for a tablet that lets you make calls comfortably

For the most part, the ASUS FonePad 7 looks like your run of the mill seven-inch Android device - needless to say it looks like any other tablet you’d see in the market. Above and below the seven-inch display you have stereo speakers. When held in portrait mode, you have the front facing camera at the top. It looks really small as the bezel surrounding the display is thick. The back of the tablet has a plastic finish and it comes in two colours black and white.

If you have used any ASUS tablet in the past such as the first FonePad, PadFone, Transformer Pad and more, you will feel right at home with the UI. The tablet runs on Android but ASUS has added its own interface to it. At the bottom of the display (not below it), you have the standard ‘back’, ‘home’ and ‘multitasking’ buttons along with a fourth button that gives you access to Floating Apps - very similar to the first gen FonePad.

These are apps that appear as small windows on the display. We have seen this ability to “pop up” apps on the display on the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, LG Optimus G and many more devices. In the Floating App drawer, you have access to apps such as the calculator, AudioWizard, dictionary, video player, countdown, stopwatch and more. You can also customise the Floating Apps launcher by arranging the apps in the order of your preference.

The ASUS FonePad run on the Intel Atom Z2560 chipset with a dual-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz and the performance is good overall. The touchscreen response of the FonePad 7 too is one of the better ones out there. It is quite comfortable to type on especially in portrait mode. The landscape mode might be a bit difficult and take some getting used to.

Coming to the display, it is a real treat to watch movies, play games and run multimedia apps on the tablet. The display has two modes - Normal and reading. The reading mode essentially reduces the brightness and contrast to suite for prolonged use. At full brightness however, the display is a bit dim.

Special mention needs to be given to the audio output from the tablet. You have two stereo speakers on the face of the tablet, which means that the audio is in your face when playing games and watching movies and that is awesome.

Overall, the tablet is a good performer. The device has an interesting UI and hardware capable of running all the apps. The calling capability is however a bit weak when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 211. But this is still worth considering if you want a tablet that let you make phone calls.

Smooth interface
Clear call quality
Skin and preloaded apps are nice
Audio output for movies and games is nice

Audio output is a bit soft for calls
Lacklustre display
Inconvenient as a phone
Floating video player app makes the device lag

Processor: Intel Clover Trail Plus Z2560 1.6GHz dual-core
Display: 7-inch IPS LCD display with 1280x800 pixel resolution
Battery: 3950mAh
OS: Android 4.2.2
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, 3G, voice-calling
Camera: 5MP rear camera & 1.2MP video call camera
In-Built Memory: 16GB storage expandable up to 32GB via a micro SD card
Price: Rs 17,499 

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