ASUS, one of the leading PC vendors, has started taking pre-orders for its first Intel powered 7-inch tablet – ASUS FonePad in Taiwan from today. Back in February, the FonePad was introduced at MWC 2013 and is now scheduled to hit the Taiwanese stores at the end of March with a price tag of NT $8,990 ($302 USD) for the 16GB variant. However, this pricing is considerably higher than the 219 euros ($285 USD) which was announced in Barcelona for the European market.
The 7-inch FonePad offers 1280×800 IPS display along with a 178-degree viewing angle and 10-point multi-touch. The 340gm hefty slab measures 196.4 x 120.1 x 10.4 mm and sports a 1.2 GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, 1GB on board RAM and a 4GB/16GB of internal storage that is expandable up to 32GB via MicroSD card slot.
The device features a 3-megapixel auto-focus camera on the rear end that can capture videos at 720p and also comes with a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.
The FonePad runs Android 4.1 and also has notable 3G connectivity and full telephony support, like the smartphones. FonePad is capable of transferring data via HSPA+ UL, 3G WCDMA and 2G EDGE/GSM.
It offers support for Bluetooth v3.0 and WLAN802.11 b/g/n. It is powered by a 4,270mAh Li-polymer Battery which provides the uptime of about 9 hours.
The pre-orders have been commenced, and the willing customers can book either champagne gold or titanium gray model of the device. According to ASUS, the FonePad will be made available at local retail channels such as Tsann Kuen Enterprise Co, Sunfair Computer Co & E-Life Mall Corp as well as on Yahoo & Chome online stores
The company has also partnered with Chunghwa Telecom, the largest telecom operator in Taiwan, to sell the Fonepad on contract. The telecom will be subsidizing the tablet and retailing it for free to consumers if they sign up a two-year contract priced at NT $1,343 ($45.07 USD) per month.
FonePad is expected to launch in Europe by the end of April. Unfortunately, there is no word yet on the wider international availability of the device and its pricing, but ASUS will confirm the actual dates & prices soon.