The ASUS Fonepad was perhaps a bit of an odd product to begin with, a little too large to really be useful as a phone and not really cutting it as an amazing tablet either. But perhaps it’s even weirder to release a slightly beefed up version of the same product shortly after the product’s initial launch, talk about trying to confuse your consumers.
According to Engadget, the updated version will be available with a faster Intel 1.6GHz Z2460 CPU and 32GB of internal memory, whilst keeping the SDcard expansion slot too. Compare that to the 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor and 16GB of built-in storage which the device originally shipped with, then it’s not a huge difference at first glance.
Ok, offering devices with different storage capacities is a fairly regular business practice. However, the change in processor is a much bigger deal and is no doubt a result of the rather lacklustre reviews regarding the Fonepad’s performance.
The jump up to an Atom Z2460 only brings a 400MHz increase in clock speed over the Z2420, there’s no change in die size, no cache increase, and the number of cores remains stuck at just one.
In our own review of the Fonepad, the performance was a little sub par with the occasional stuttering occurring in more demanding applications, but overall it wasn’t terrible. The main problem with the device’s performance seemed to stem from the slightly slow graphics chip, at least in our own experience, which isn’t being addressed with this hardware update.
On the whole, it seems fair enough to offer consumers a better performing product, but if you’re planning on buying the new version, bear in mind that you’re certainly not looking at a whole new device with a huge jump up in performance.
The beefed up ASUS Fonepad will retail for around NT$10,900, which works out to roughly $360. We’re still waiting on confirmation regarding availability of the new device in different regions.