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With a bluetooth headset, Asus FonePad should be fine to be used as a phone. 7-inches screen is right for me, it’s not too big as a phone and not too small as a tablet. The device is portable to be stored in the waist wallet.

Its technical specifications meet all my requirements.

Asus customer service is damn suck, that it’s a big no to buy Asus product.

Ideal budget phablet

Anansa Jacob

THE Asus FonePad will definitely challenge the way you look at the phablet range of devices. There has been some intense discussion as to the “perfect size” device for combining the two uses of phone and tablet.

Considering that most larger smartphones these days can double up as mini tablets themselves, the whole point of phablets might seem moot. But Asus is determined to try it out with the FonePad.

Based on looks alone, the FonePad is striking. Its aluminium casing comes in a choice of two colours – an ordinary Titanium Gray, and the far more appealing Champagne Gold, a rosy colour that makes it stand out among the usual black or white devices.

And at 7-inches and weighing a svelte 340g, it fits the requirements for a handy, portable tablet that you can slip inside your purse or pocket.

The FonePad is a micro-SIM device with a microSD slot that can accommodate up to 32GB, although the 8GB internal storage is actually more than enough for most users.

It runs on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean platform, and allows users access to various apps on the Google Play store. The device also comes pre-loaded with a few interesting apps, including my new favourite, the distracting Angry Birds: Star Wars game.

The FonePad is marketed as a budget device, but when compared to the range of budget tablets in the market, it ranks up there near the top.

It has a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, which perfectly handles activities like games and video-streaming. And while the screen resolution may not be of the highest quality, it is adequate for web surfing and reading.

The camera is a rather simple one, and at 3 megapixels, it does a decent job but it really isn’t anything to shout about.

However, with all the photo editing apps out there these days, even the simplest photo can be tweaked to look stunning, so the camera will not make a huge difference to anyone but the most discerning photobugs.

The best part of the FonePad is, believe it or not, the battery. I used it for web-surfing and streaming for an entire day, and it gave me a solid eight hours. I also left it alone after a full charge, and with the FonePad set on WiFi and just receiving alerts and notifications, it managed to last almost four full days.

But of course, the FonePad has more uses than just as a tablet, so I did try it out as a smartphone as it was originally intended.

The biggest downside to using the FonePad as a phone is, of course, that it looks rather silly. But even if you could get over the way it looks to talk to a device that’s almost bigger than your head, there is still the matter of sound quality.

When making or receiving phone calls on the FonePad, the sound was tinny and somewhat muffled. It wasn’t even the fact that the earpiece and the receiver were further apart than on a regular phone, the sound just wasn’t good.

Add to the fact that it also isn’t comfortable to hold up to the side of your face, it becomes obvious that no one will be making phone calls on the FonePad unless they absolutely have to.

Having spent the last few months using the Asus FonePad, I would have to say that as a tablet it is excellent, considering this is supposed to be a budget-range device.

So, I would recommend using the FonePad as a tablet – and believe me, it’s one of the better bang-for-buck tablets out there. You should only attempt to use it to make phone calls as a last resort.

The Asus FonePad retails at RM849.

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