Taiwan-based technology hotshots have a special place in the smartphone and tablet market. We already have names such as HTC with its impressive handsets like the new One (M8). However, another Taiwan-based player that's also looking to make a similar kind of name for itself is Asus.
Asus, primarily, has been known as a first rate PC maker over the past few years. However, it's entry into the handset and tablet scene has brought newly rekindled hope back among the fans of the makers as they look to sought out the similar kind of greatness in the new devices as well.
Asus' newest offering in the tablet category is the new Fonepad 7 offering that will now look to go head to head against the others in the same bracket. In fact, the 7-inch tablet category has lately seen an influx of options with voice-calling capabilities, and Asus is the latest one to try and tap into the market.
While tablets are bigger offerings as compared to modern day smartphones, and even the ones that fall under the 'phablet' tag, it's still an area of major interest among a host of users. And with offerings such as Apple's iPad range of tablets and even Samsung's own Galaxy Tab 2s and 3s, that have created quite a stir in the past, there's no telling when the tablet juggernaut will stop.
Asus, itself, has been capitalizing on voice-calling tablets section for quite some time. In fact, the company has been making the most of the tablet trend by launching a Fonepad variant every once in a while. And we have already seen Asus launching as many as three Fonepad variants in a little more than a year.
But while others are now out of the picture, how does the new Fonepad fare in terms of the new world popularity? Does is have enough in it to stand against the stern test it's about to face in the market?
We have had the opportunity to play aroud with a review unit Asus just sent us a while ago. We carried out quite a few tests on the tablet (apart from trying to drain out its battery for a while) and found out quite a bit about the device. Check out our review for the same.
Asus Fonepad 7 Review: Form Factor and Operating System
First of all, if we are to strike a basic comparison of the new Fonepad 7 Dual SIM with the previously released original Fonepad 7, it has to be in terms of the weight of the device.
The new Fonepad 7 Dual SIM stands slightly heavier at 340g, apart from being a tad bit wider and thicker. Moreover, you will also notice a slight difference in the front of the tablet where the dual front speakers have been effectively replaced by a single speaker this time, placed this time around in the back of the device.
Apart from that, however, the tablet isn't much different from the earlier versions of the Asus Fonepad. And we say that keeping in mind the same kind of plastic panel in the back that's still shiny and still attracts a lot of fingerprints and smudges easily.
You will find the Asus logo in the front bottom of the device, apart from being dominated by a 7-inch IPS display. The display, itself, has been surrounded by a wide, black bezel with glossy finish. The right edge of the device features the volume rocker and power buttons, while on top, there's the Micro-USB port and 3.5mm headset jack.
When we say time and again that the device is glossy, shiny or even reflects your face quite well, we are also saying that you might just have a bit of an issue with the device's slipperiness. It did threaten to slip from our hands a few times, but then we realized that this one requires you to use both of your hands at the same time.
On the operating system front, it doesn't look like Asus did much work in changing the overall layout and the UI. In fact, if you take the previous Fonepad 7 into consideration yet again, you won't see much tweaking in terms of the UI in the new tablet.
While the tablet runs on the Google-based Android 4.3 operating system, as opposed to the Android 4.2.2 on the Fonepad 7, the skin layout remains entriely different. And although we aren't complaining much about that at this point, the only real difference that you will actually find is the exclusion of some third-party apps. And that's good news.
Apart from that, there's the improved notification tray that offers quick settings toggles for options such as Wi-Fi, mobile data, airplane mode, and more. Note that these can be customized as well. Apart from that, we are sure that you will also find the floating apps (or widgets) to be quite useful as well.