The first Intel Atom-powered 'phablet' is set to debut
at Mobile World Congress, according to Digitimes
. The rumored 7-inch Asus device is set to be dubbed the 'Fonepad, ' which is a reversal of the PadFone
name that Asus has previously used for a different smartphone/tablet hybrid device. This device would not integrate a discrete smartphone where the tablet component acts as a dock as with the Padfone, but instead would double as a self-contained super-sized smartphone.
Until now, Intel-powered devices have appeared in only a handful of smartphones, with the most prominent being the Motorola RAZR i
and the Lenovo K800
. Asus appears to be targeting the subset of users who would like to carry a 7-inch tablet, but who also want to be able to make calls natively and over a cellular connection, rather than through Skype over Wi-Fi, for example.
The device will run Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' and center on a 1280x800 IPS display. It willl include 1GB of system RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. To keep the price accessible, a 3-megapixel camera is incorporated into the rear of the device, while it will support 3G cellular networks for voice calls. The usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS modules will also be included. It is expected to retail for between $270 and $300.