60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
A great device that just about hits all the spots,
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This review is from: Asus Fonepad ME371MG 7-inch Tablet (Intel Atom Z2420 1.2GHz Processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, WLAN, BT, 3G, Camera, Android 4.1) (Personal Computers)
As my first tablet device (I'd been waiting for a 3G Nexus 7 with a micro-SD slot) I was not quite sure whether this was really going to suit me, but as I hadn't bought any gadgets for a while I decided to treat myself. I'm glad I did.
I think the screen is pretty good. Comparing it with a Nexus 7 it is not *quite* as bright on full but there is almost nothing in it, neither are much use in bright sunlight unless you squint a bit in your own shadow. I like the Asus Splendid app they provide which allows you to tweak display parameters, I've just upped the saturation slightly to give photos that slightly more rich look but left everything else alone.
Good size. OK, this would apply to any 7 inch tablet, but for me it is probably the smallest screen where I can comfortably read text on a web page without either it being too small or having to constantly scroll about all over the place, like on my phone. I can also get it in a few pockets in shirts, jackets and trousers, though I would not want to take it routinely like I do with my phone.
Micro-SD slot. With a 32Gb card in I have 44Gb of storage available (as Android itself takes up 4 of the 16 Gb built in). Plus, of course, I can swap the card for another one if I want to (one for work, one with videos for the kids etc). Why limit yourself to just the memory in the device?
Camera backup. I can use the Fonepad as a backup device for my camera, after shooting a few Gb of photos or videos, I simply connect the camera (Canon 650D if you're interested) to the Fonepad with the Canon USB lead and copy the photos onto the memory card. If the card fills up (like it might do on holiday) I simply put another one in. This saves me taking a whole laptop along to do the same job. Using the RawDroid app I can also look at raw pictures on the screen, which is much, much better than looking at them on the camera screen. You also need to buy a USB OTG (on-the-go) lead to use this functionality, from about £1 on ebay. This also lets me attach a USB card reader (or any USB external disk I've tried) to the Fonepad to move files about with the File Manager.
Battery life is good. Usually I put it in airplane mode and then turn WiFi on to use it in the house. In this way it only needs charging every few days. With 3G on, it will easily last a whole day with normal use.
3G. I couldn't see much point in getting a tablet without it as it's not always convenient to tether to a phone and having the function on-board is just so much easier. I can also create a wi-fi hotspot with the Fonepad and let other devices share the 3G connection - handy if your friends only have ipods or Nexus 7s.
And it's a phone too! I can't understand the number of reviews I have read where almost their whole approach is "Gosh, how stupid you look using this as a phone!". Well if that really bothers you, ninny, then *don't use it as a phone*! You don't have to, I've only used the phone functions once or twice, but it is certainly nice to have them there if you want them. Of course you can send texts without looking stupid whatever the size of your phone. If all your contacts are in Google then they appear on the phone automatically, all synced with your other (Android) phone. Having the functions there mean you can, if you want, put the SIM from your normal phone in the Fonepad and leave your normal phone at home. I might do this next time I go on holiday, giving me just one gadget to worry about.
The placement of the power button right next to the volume up/down buttons seems a bit daft. It is easy to turn the device off instead of changing the volume, however as powering it back on is no harder than pressing the power button again this isn't as bad as it sounds.
OK so it's not as fast as a Nexus 7, with only a single core (dual-threaded) CPU. To be honest I haven't really noticed this in use. Like on a PC, most performance issues come from having enough memory, and with a Gb of RAM it seems to comfortably roll along. I admit I haven't tried a massively CPU centred shoot-em-up game (where it might lag I guess) but for all normal uses the performance is fine for me. I tried loading a flight simulator (X Plane) to test the graphics and I can see nothing wrong with it here. Comparing an Intel against an ARM CPU is clearly not just a matter of looking at the numbers.
I'm not really a fan of the sleek, metallic finish as it makes it a bit slippery to hold. However, I got around this by buying a £2 rubbery cover for a Nexus 7 (they are the same size, it just covers the back and sides) which fits perfectly and gives the back a much more rubbery feel. Even though this doesn't have holes in the right places for power and volume buttons I don't mind this as it gives the device extra water-proofness and the buttons can still be pressed through the cover anyway. Plus, with the cover and screen protector on it is covered on all-sides so I can shove it into a pocket or bag without worrying about the odd scratch or smear.
Not Gorilla glass. I suppose they saved a few pennies here, but as I always use a screen protector with this anyway I am not that concerned.
No decent camera. This is the only real downside to this device IMO, which means I would not be able to retire my normal phone - even if I wanted to. The UK version of course has only a 1.3 Mp front camera, fine for Skype etc but not for much else. Some versions have a 3 Mp back camera too, but apparently that's not much cop either, though I haven't seen any results from it.
Summary: Recommended. Don't let the idiotic "it's too big as a phone" reviewers put you off.
Tracked by 3 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Jul 2013 16:22:01 BDT
Helpful and interesting review, but tell me this - can you set this device up to function AS a WiFi hotspot so that other devices (laptop etc) can tether to it and use it's 3G connection? My old Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 could do this, but sadly my Nexus 7 doesn't.
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jul 2013 09:11:47 BDT
Yes, you can. I've just tried it to make sure.
Posted on 5 Aug 2013 21:57:46 BDT
Hi, I'm completely naive when it comes to 3G.. so apologies for dumb question (which I would like to have asked Amazon, but can't find a link..) Do you know if I can just take the sim out of my Vodafone PAYG mobe & plug it into the ME371MG (sim-free/unlocked). or do I have to sign up for a contract. Cheers..
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2013 17:13:40 BDT
Yes that should be fine. The fonepad is just like any other phone in this respect. Your fonepad would then just become your Vodaphone PAYG mobile with a large screen.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2013 18:18:24 BDT
Many thanks for that - most useful!
Posted on 23 Aug 2013 21:51:15 BDT
VERY helpful review, thank you. How I wish I had read it before I gave up looking for a purpose-built TPU cover and bought a wrap-around thing, I just didn't read down the list far enough >:( Your setup is exactly what I want.
However, there's no point me buying anything more for my Fonepad because I cannot (and neither can my brother) access the card slots - the cover simply will not come off, even using a piece of non-slip material. Any tips on that?
AND I bought it from Amazon Italy (for the camera: only £10 more inclusive), to make life more difficult :-/
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2013 22:08:33 BDT
MM what a pain. Mine comes off fairly stiffly, but certainly it is not difficult. Have you tried levering if off with a penknife blade? There are no fancy clips holding it on, as far as I can see, it's just held by friction I think.
Failing that, I would bite the bullet and RMA it back to Amazon Italy and ask for a replacement.
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Aug 2013 00:44:49 BDT
The info re "no clips" is very helpful, we've actually been discussing whether to resort to knives.
Also (as there seems no end to your helpfulness) I've been looking at Nexus 7 TPU or gel or "jelly" covers and some are said by reviewers to be harder than expected, so I wonder if you could specify which you bought. If not, that's my bad luck, I'll have to put up with this 'orrible case I've bought.
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Aug 2013 09:35:01 BDT
If you just click on my name by the review it will take you to all my reviews .. I reviewed the case too! I've found other reviews helpful so do the same when I think it will help.
I suppose if you scratch it with knives, you might then not be able to RMA it.
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Aug 2013 09:52:32 BDT
QUOTE: With this cover on and a screen protector the device has all-round protection against scuffs and means I can pretty well chuck it anywhere knowing it will be reasonably safe provided nobody sits on it!
That's exactly what I've said about my Galaxy S3 and exactly what I want for my Fonepad. Thank you so much!