Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
Powerful, good quality, great value
on 7 January 2014
I'd been waiting a while for this new model to be available and it's fantastic. Equipped with an Atom Dual Core (Hyper-Threaded) it benches ~17,000 on Antutu. Pretty much everything happens smoothly and responsively from web browsing, to video playback to gaming. Asus really knocked this one out of the park!
Wifi and 3G reception are strong with high throughput. Asus has written their own Android launcher UI and it's a great improvement over stock, everything's easy to get to, I've retired a bunch of widgets because they're no longer needed. Bluetooth performance is very good too, it can hold a connection from the top to bottom of my three floor house. The cameras are head and shoulders above what you'll get on most of these tablets, taking pretty decent pics (low light performance ain't great but that's pretty much par for the course with these tiny lenses). Go look up a review for example shots. As for the speakers I've heard people complain about them but I think they do a good job, bassy for their size and because they're at either end of the tablet you get a good stereo separation too.
Tons of space with the 16GB built in and you can still add an SD if you like. There were a couple of issues with firmware (trace input not working on the built-in keyboard for instance) and Asus has already provided a couple of updates to fix them, as well as upgrade the OS to Android 4.3. I have an RT N16 router and if Asus' support of that is anything to go by then you can expect them to do a good job updating/bug-fixing their Fonepad. Of course nothing is perfect, the screen is a little dim (it still works outside though) relative to other tablets that I've seen and you'll have to use a MicroSIM instead of a normal size one. Also no screen protector is included so you'll need to bring your own to the party.
This tablet is a massive upgrade from the cheap chinese tat and it doesn't even cost that much more than the chinese phablet equivalent (for comparison sake the popular quad core MTK 6589 benches ~14,000). Plus you get the build quality, ongoing support and Asus' attitude is great if you're interested in a bit of hacking (they provide the source code for the tablet on their site). It's light in the hand and made of smooth quality plastic (bit of a finger print magnet) and the back has a cool metallic circular pattern embedded under the surface. I'm using mine in a case though, so that's all a bit of a moot point.
Last thing to say is there's a ton of sensors, GPS works great, Compass is good too, the Accelerometer is sensitive and responsive, there's a Hall sensor (so you can get a cover that will sleep the tablet when you close it) and a proximity sensor (some gesture control apps are available). Plus you'll get about 10 hours worth of video watching out of it on one charge.
What more could you ask for eh? If you're looking for a phone/tablet hybrid there is nothing else on the market that will even touch this device for quality, power and value. Shut up and give them your money!
UPDATE (MAY 2014): My Fonepad 7 died! Well, it self-powered down and would not restart or be recognised by the computer. Asus accepted it for RMA, and fixed it up in two weeks (suspect it would have been faster but was over Easter break) - no shipping charges. From the repair note they appear to have replaced the battery and motherboard, and it is working fine again.
UPDATE 2 (MAY 2014): Yeah... I've noticed the back camera is producing distorted images (circular rainbow halo around the image) so it has to go back again. Not so pleased with Asus service now!