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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!
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on 28 December 2013
"conveniently", the key spec to distinguish between the "old" and updated model - processor speed, is missing from the spec sheet in amazon, at least in this particular entry. The old model comes with 1.2GHz, new with 1.6GHz.
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on 3 January 2014
i order the ME371MG and i wank to exchange with new one butt when received the new models i compared the 2 the older version far better the sound off the single speaker top the news models poooooor
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on 3 March 2014
All was ok until I asked the tablet to read things out to me, i'm partly sighted. For some unknown reason it just froze up on me and didn't allow me to turn this text to speech off. I had this device just for a few days and after restarting it for a number of times without any success, or of being able to do anything else on it i thought that asking for a replacing wood be the best for me, rather than phoning for tc help. The only option that i was offered was a refund. I thought that was the easier way out.
But now i have to wait 30 days for my money before i can buy something else. They are quick taking money but take long to give it back. So the question remains is this Fonepad any good?
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on 22 November 2014
Unfortunately the screen on this is cracked and has rendered the Fonepad almost unusable, so will be picking up a Samsung Tab S LTE [10 or 8 inch phablet, not decided yet] to replace my Asus, as these have higher screen resolution and thanks to a Samsung app can be used to make and receive voice calls
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on 28 October 2014
Excellent. Became big part of my life. Caller volume a little low when not on headphones. Incredible value. Wish user could replace battery and extend the already brilliant 8 to ten hour battery life. A 1.8 Processor version called the FE375CG is about to be released. I'm tempted.
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on 19 March 2014
Great product. Does everything I need it to do. Volume on phone is poor as others have commented but generally you would use bluetooth for this. There is no FM radio, so if you like listening to radio when walking around, it will eat into your mobile data allowance. Little guidance on how to set up everything. Manual is basic and if you are unfamiliar with Android and Google, its all a bit of trial and error.
Keep mobile data switched off at home with wifi use.
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on 4 March 2014
I really wanted to keep the phonepad.
it could take the place of two items and make phone calls.

Unfortunately it is whisper quiet, and because of the size of the tablet
in needs to be carried in an overcoat pocket, or a bag.
In which case it cannot be heard at all.
Those big speakers on the front are a Big letdown.

The keyboard as well missed letters, I needed 2 or 3 press or more on some letters and digits.
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on 9 May 2014
Having WIFI and 3G makes this just perfect for my needs, although I do not intend to use it as a phone, the ability to do so in an emergency is a bonus, with a headset of course or it would look very odd holding a big tablet to one ear. Still. in an emergency I would be glad for the option.
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on 19 June 2014
Fab, fab, fab! Now with dual camera - front & back, with loads of useful extra's. Only niggle - preloaded apps cannot be deleted but what's a few apps between friends?? Delivered on time, no probs getting it up and running. Very happy! 🌠
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