Another budget-friendly 7-inch Asus tablet leaks with funky Fonepad name and Intel SoC

by: AdrianFebruary 4, 2013


They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but every rule has an exception, right? In this particular case the exception being Asus, the “old dog” that’s learned quite a few new tricks after the Nexus 7 partnership with Google.

The number one lesson Google taught Asus is there’s money in cheap gadgets too and sometimes there’s actually more money there if you know how to hit the perfect price spot. The MemoPad 7 and 10 are the first attempts at putting that plan into action post-Nexus 7, but it appears there’s another affordable Asus tab in the pipeline and planned for an MWC intro.

Nothing too shocking so far, but here’s where our report takes a turn for the bizarre – the upcoming Asus 7-incher is going to be called the Fonepad K004. And it’s going to be Intel-powered.

None of this is official yet, but everything checks out. The featuring of an Intel CPU was actually leaked before, when the tablet was known as the ME371MG, while the Fonepad branding has been spotted in Postel Indonesia’s database.

Intel Lexington

Now, how weird is that name? Not to mention confusing. After all, Asus has a Padfone and Padfone 2 around, and, despite the hybrid duo not being awfully successful, people know about them. So, Fonepad and Padfone? It doesn’t sound very smart, but hey, what do we know about marketing?

Moving on to the spec sheet. Which supposedly includes a 7-inch IPS display with 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of on-board storage, a 3 MP camera, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS support and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Everything sounds nice and dandy, but let’s get back to the Intel SoC for a moment. Rumor has it we’ll be dealing with the new Atom Z2420 “Lexington” chip, but is that the ideal choice? We still know very little about the platform when it comes to real life performance, but in theory it doesn’t sound too hot.

Asus Fonepad Price

Intel is marketing the CPU as a battery-saving one targeted mostly for emerging markets, but that’s just fancy talk for sub-par performance. Or not and we’re just being paranoid. In which case the leaked THB 7,900 ($265) price would also make sense, because we have to say that’s not exactly what people have in mind nowadays when hearing about “budget-friendly” 7-inchers.

Oh, right, one more thing. According to some “sources”, the Asus Fonepad K004 will also come with calling facilities, which would partly excuse the weird branding. But only partly, because we still think it’s a bad idea to have two very different devices with so similar names.

What do you guys think? Would you be interested in a Fonepad with an Intel Lexington chip inside and voice call support? Or is the whole story just a big farce and there’s no new 7-incher prepped by Asus for MWC?

  • Ron

    The iPad has a strange set of names. iPad, iPad 2, and New iPad. Not very fancy.

  • You (Adrian) are right about the $265 price. It certainly isn’t what I think of as budget price for a 7 incher. Shop down the road has 7″ “GoClever” tab with case and BT keyboard for €70, it might be a POS, but that’s budget price to me. People here in Ireland, being broke as church mice at the moment, seem to be embracing these ultra cheap tablets more each day.

    Granted this “Fonepad” for similar money to its cousin Nexus 7 32GB has 3g, but it also has only a quarter the storage (picture above shows only 8GB storage for both of the K004 models). Also it has x86 SoC which has a far lower number of compatible apps than the more usual ARM SoC. Not much of a bargain in my eyes if ever they do release it.