Full specifications of ASUS Fonepad revealed?

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Feb 072013

More details are now surfacing about the ASUS Fonepad, a 7-inch tablet that could come with voice and data connectivity. First, there an image of the back of the device showing an aluminium casing and an Intel logo that confirms which company is supplying the processor:

Rumoured ASUS Fonepad

A number of specification details have also been revealed. These align well with previous details.

Rumoured ASUS Fonepad specifications:

  • Model: ME371MG
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 with PowerVR SGX540 GPU
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Display: 7-inch WXGA (1280×800) IPS
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8/16/32GB onboard and microSD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 3MP
  • Front-facing camera: 1.2
  • Battery: 4,270mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 196.6 × 120.1 × 10.4 millimeters / 340 grams

ASUS may unveil the Fonepad as early as MWC 2013 with availability to follow in the second quarter.

Read more: Tablet.bg (in Bulgarian) [Google translation] (Source: UnwiredView)

Rumour: ASUS to launch 7-inch Fonepad at MWC 2013

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Feb 072013

It appears that ASUS can’t get enough of the 7-inch tablet form factor. Aside from manufacturing Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, it offers its own entry-level ASUS MeMO Pad. Digitimes is reporting that it could unveil a third model, called the Fonepad (not to be confused with the Padfone which is also the topic of recent rumours), at MWC 2013.

Unlike most other 7-inch tablets, the ASUS Fonepad would support 3G connectivity (voice and data), GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Other specifications include an Intel Atom Z242 processor,a 7-inch WXGA (1280×800) IPS display, 1GB RAM and 16GB of onboard storage, and a 3MP camera. Most intriguing is the suggestion that it will have voice capabilities. Perhaps it will come with a Bluetooth headset as holding up a tablet to your head is nothing if not cumbersome.

The ASUS Fonepad will reportedly be priced in the US$300 range. ASUS would presumably focus on its voice capabilities to distinguish it from similarly-priced tablets (including the 3G version of the Google Nexus 7) but its lower processor and display specs may work against it.

We should know more at MWC 2013 should the ASUS Fonepad turn out to be real.

Read more: Digitimes

ASUS MeMO Pad 10 press shots leaked ahead of MWC 2013 announcement?

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Feb 032013

ASUS last month launched the entry-level ASUS MeMO Pad, a 7-inch tablet priced below most 7-inch tablets including the Nexus 7 (which it manufactures for Google). Leaked press shots now suggest that it is about to complement this tablet with a 10.1-inch model. Much as its smaller sibling, the ASUS MeMO Pad 10 will reportedly also target a lower price point than similarly sized tablets.

Rumoured ASUS MeMO Pad 10

Along with the leaked press shots, Dutch website TabletsMagazine reports that the ASUS MeMO Pad 10 will be powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It will come with a 10.1-inch WXGA (1280×800) IPS display, 1GB RAM, 16GB of onboard storage and a microSD card reader, front and rear cameras and USB and HDMI ports. It will be available in blue, white and pink. Unlike the ASUS Transformer tablets, it will not have any docking functionality.

Despite the fact that an announcement is reportedly set for MWC 2013, some Dutch are apparently already taking pre-orders for the MeMO Pad 10 for €299 (about CA$405).

Read more: TabletsMagazine (in Dutch) [Google translation] (Source: AndroidCentral)

Rumour: ASUS to announce Padfone 3 at MWC 2013

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Feb 022013

ASUS Padfone 2The ASUS Padfone 2 is less than six months old but Digitimes reports that ASUS will unveil the next generation of its smartphone-tablet hybrid device at MWC 2013 later this month. No details about the Padfone 3 (assuming that will be its name) were provided.

If the overall dimensions of the smartphone itself do not change, it could work with the current ASUS Padfone 2 Station, allowing ASUS to offer an alternative configuration to customers.

As for its predecessor, the Padfone 2 appears to be doing relatively well for ASUS. It is reportedly nearing global sales of 1 million units. With shipments ongoing, it should be able to surpass the million mark in the near future. Perhaps ASUS will expand availability to include North America with the next model.

The report adds that ASUS will announce the Padfone 3 alongside new smartphone models with large displays. An 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablet, the VivoTab TF810, will also be announced sometime this month (perhaps at MWC as well?).

There is little to go on here so take this with a healthy dose of skepticism for now. Let’s see if some corroborating evidence surfaces in the coming days.

Read more: Digitimes

ASUS considering Windows Phone 8 including Padfone model

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Jan 172013

Things are looking for the Windows Phone 8 operating system. According to The Wall Street Journal, ASUS is the latest manufacturer to be considering making devices powered by Microsoft’s mobile operating system. Benson Lin, corporate vice president of mobile communication products confirmed that ASUS is currently engaged in licensing discussions with Microsoft. “There is no target timeline… but we are interested in making Windows phones.”

Lin also revealed that ASUS proposed to Microsoft to develop a Padfone device powered by Windows 8. The current ASUS Padfone 2 is an Android-powered smartphone that docks into a tablet accessory. “With our Padfone concept, the phone plus tablet, I think it makes sense for Windows 8,” Mr. Lin said.

Given that Microsoft offers Windows Phone 8 for smartphones and Windows 8 for tablets and PCs, it will be interesting to see how the Padfone would work. Could it use Windows Phone 8 in smartphone mode and switch to Windows 8 when docked? Or will ASUS wait for the rumoured Windows Blue release which is supposed to bring Windows 8 to smaller-screens?

The report adds that ASUS is currently also in discussion with U.S. carriers to bring its phones to the U.S. perhaps as early as next year.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

ASUS announces 7-inch budget MeMO Pad tablet

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Jan 142013

The ASUS MeMO brand is alive! As had been rumoured, ASUS, Google’s partner on the Google Nexus 7 tablet, has released its own 7-inch tablet. The ASUS MeMO Pad is clearly aimed at the budget-minded buyer with a starting price of US$149. While most of its specifications will not touch those of the Google Nexus 7, it has one that many Nexus 7 owners wish for: a microSD card slot.


ASUS MeMO Pad specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz VIA WM8950 with Mali-400 GPU
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: None
  • Other connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Display: 7-inch WSVGA (1024×600) LED-backlit
  • Input: 10-point multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB or 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB, 5GB free ASUS WebStorage
  • Rear-facing camera: None
  • Front-facing camera: 1MP withf/2.0 aperture and 720p HD video capture
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB port
  • Battery: 4,270mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 196.2 × 119.2 × 11.2 millimeters / 370 grams
  • Colours: Sugar White, Titanium Gray, Cherry Pink

The ASUS MeMO Pad will be available later this month in “selected markets.” Pricing will start at US$149 for the 8GB model.

Read more: ASUS

Google Nexus 7 docking station coming soon for US$39.99

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Dec 202012

Despite the success of the Google Nexus 7, Google and ASUS have been slow to offer accessories for it. So far, we have only seen a cover (available in three colours) and a charger. Earlier this month, we got a peak at an upcoming docking station. It is now listed on the B&H for US$39.99 (or CA$39.53). It is not available yet but you can sign up to be notified when it will be.

The dock comes with a 3.5mm audio port and micro-USB port at the back. It requires Android 4.2 and audio output requires that the USB AC adapter be connected.

Google Nexus 7 Dock

The site lists an expected availability date of December 30th, 2012.Given the lack of Nexus 7 accessory availability at the Google Play in Canada, you’ll be relieved to know that B&H ships to Canada.

Read more: B&H

New entry-level Google Nexus 7 tablet to cost more than US$99?

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Dec 202012

Google NexusThe rumours that Google will launch a new entry-level tablet continue. The latest report indicates that a lower-priced Nexus 7 could launch as early as Q1 2013 although the companies could also wait until Q2 as the first quarter traditionally sees slower sales.

According to Digitimes, Google is working with ASUS rather than Quanta Computer as it reported in the past. The two companies are still hoping to hit the US$99 price point but anonymous market observers expect that supplier costs (including those of touchscreen maker Shenzhen O-Film Tech) may force them to sell for slightly more. If component costs cannot be driven down further, it could sell for between US$129 and US$149 instead.

Google and ASUS will reportedly aim the new tablet at emerging markets. If so, we may not see it in North America where the Nexus 7 already sells for as low as US$199. Initial shipment volumes could reach 600,000 units.

Could this new entry-level Google Nexus 7 tablet be none other than the ASUS ME172V spotted over at GLBenchmark.com recently?

Read more: Digitimes

Upcoming ASUS Google Nexus 7 docking station revealed

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Dec 012012

ASUS Japan may have inadvertently revealed a new accessory for the Google Nexus 7 [product information]. Listed on its website is a new Nexus 7 docking station

ASUS Nexus 7 dock

ASUS Nexus 7 dock

The dock measures 219.1 by 65.1 by 30.3 millimeters and weighs about 280 grams. It comes with a 3.5mm audio port and micro-USB port at the back. The Nexus 7 must be running Android 4.2 and the audio output requires that the USB AC adapter be connected. The one picture showing the Nexus 7 in the dock shows it in landscape orientation.

The ASUS Nexus 7 dock will be available starting in early December (in Japan at least) for ¥3,480 (about CA$42). There is no word yet on availability elsewhere but it will hopefully show up on the Google Play Store as well.

Read more: ASUS Japan (in Japanese) [Google translation] (Source: SlashGear)

Entry-level ASUS ME172V tablet gets benchmarked?

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Nov 302012

What appears to be an entry-level ASUS tablet has been spotted on the GLBenchmark website. Identified as the ME172V, only a few details about the device are revealed. It looks to be powered by a 1GHz processor with a Mali-400 MP GPU and Android 4.1.1. It will come with a display (likely 7-inch) with a resolution of 1024×600 pixels. To that AndroidCommunity adds that it will come with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage and a 4,270mAh battery.

Benchmarks for ASUS ME172V

Could it be the oft-rumoured entry-level Google Nexus tablet? Given that ASUS manufactures the Google Nexus 7 [product information], it is a possibility. At the same time, nowhere do the results specifically identify the tablet as a Google Nexus model. Some older rumours have also suggested that Google’s US$99 tablet could come from Quanta Computer (and without Nexus branding) instead. Perhaps ASUS is going at it alone this time. Perhaps it is a revised version of the ASUS Eee Pad MeMO ME171 that ASUS first announced back at CES 2012.

What do you think, Google tablet or an ASUS-branded one?

Read more: GLBenchmarks (Source: AndroidCommunity)

Google Nexus 7 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update coming in mid-November?

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Nov 112012

Google Nexus 7Google was originally expected to start pushing out Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to its Nexus 7 tablet in late October. Clearly that did not happen and owners are still waiting for an indication as to when they can now expect it. ASUS, the tablet’s manufacturer, explains that the update “is expected shortly” but provides no specific dates.

According to an ASUS spokesperson, the delay is due to Google itself:

“We’re still waiting on Google for the update. We haven’t put out an official statement as it is a software issue rather than hardware.”

Android 4.2 is mainly an incremental update and retains the Jelly Bean name. Among the new features are the new Photo Sphere camera app, user accounts for tablets, and new gesture-based software keyboard.

Both the Google Nexus 4 smartphone and Google Nexus 10 tablet which go on sale on November 13th will come with Android 4.2 pre-loaded.

Read more: CNET

Android makes inroads in tablet market in Q3 2012

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Nov 052012

The tablet market continued to show strong growth in Q3 2012. Shipments reached 27.8 million units, a 49.5% growth over the same quarter a year ago and 6.7% over Q2 2012. Apple continued to dominate despite slowing sales (tied in part to anticipation for the iPad mini). Android made strong gains thanks in large part to Samsung and ASUS.

“After a very strong second quarter, Apple saw growth slow as both consumer and commercial (including education) shipments declined, and rumors of a forthcoming iPad mini began to heat up,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets at IDC. “We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad mini. Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter. However, we believe the mini’s relatively high $329 starting price leaves plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter.”

Here are the full numbers:

Vendor 3Q12 Shipments 3Q12 Market Share 3Q11 Shipments 3Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Apple 14.0 50.4% 11.1 59.7% 26.1%
Samsung 5.1 18.4% 1.2 6.5% 325.0%
Amazon.com 2.5 9.0% NA NA NA
ASUS 2.4 8.6% 0.7 3.8% 242.9%
Lenovo 0.4 1.4% 0.2 1.1% 100%
Others 3.3 12.2% 5.4 28.9% -38.9%
All vendors 27.8 100.0% 18.6 100.0% 49.5%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, November 5, 2012 (preliminary data)

The next few quarters will be interesting to watch. Apple has now launched its iPad mini (and fourth-generation iPad) and tablets powered by Microsoft’s new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems are also now hitting the market.

Read more: IDC

Google Nexus 7 sales closing in on 1 million tablets per month

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Oct 312012

Google Nexus 7ASUS, the manufacturer behind the Google Nexus 7 tablet, today revealed the first actual sales figures since the tablet launched this past summer. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Chief Financial Officer David Chang, revealed that sales have been steadily climbing. “At the beginning, it was, for instance, 500K units a month, then maybe 600, 700K. This latest month, it was close to 1 million,” he said.

ASUS expects that its fourth quarter tablet shipments could reach 2.6 million and could hit 10 million in 2013. While the launch this week of the new 32GB Google Nexus 7 is likely to help those figures, competition in the 7-inch tablet space is also going to be a bit tougher with the arrival of Apple’s new iPad mini.

Google still has a ways to go to catch up with Apple. It announced sales of 14 million iPads in its last quarter alone.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

Promotional ASUS Padfone 2 videos

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Oct 162012

Along with today’s ASUS Padfone 2 announcement, ASUS has released three videos of the smartphone/tablet hybrid device. The first is a short 30 second promotion. It is followed by a longer video that goes over the technical specifications of both the Padfone 2 and its Padfone 2 Station. The third and longest video delves a bit into the manufacturer’s ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy.

PadFone 2 is a fully featured 4.7″ Android™ smartphone with industry-leading specifications that docks with the unique PadFone 2 Station to become a lightweight, but fully featured, 10.1″ tablet. Apps are seamlessly optimized on-the-fly to support both tablet and phone modes, with an instant transition between smartphone and tablet screen sizes.

This might be as close as we get in North America to seeing the ASUS Padfone 2 in action.

Read more: ASUS [via YouTube]

ASUS announces ASUS Padfone 2 and Padfone 2 Station

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Oct 162012

As expected, ASUS today unveiled the Padfone 2, the Android smartphone that transforms into a tablet with its optional Padfone 2 Station accessory. The event was held in both Milan, Italy and Taipei, Taiwan. The Padfone 2 smartphone itself boasts improved specifications, including a quad-core processor and LTE connectivity, over its predecessor while the dock has been completely redesigned.

ASUS Padfone 2ASUS Padfone 2 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (APQ8064)
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0.3
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE / HSPA+ / EDGE / GPRS
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS & GLONASS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Display: 4.7-inch HD (1280×720) Super IPS+
  • Input: Touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB/32GB/64GB onboard and 50GB free ASUS Webstorage for 2 years
  • Rear-facing camera: 1.2MP
  • Front-facing camera: 13MP AF with f/2.4 aperture
  • Battery: 2,140mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 137.9 x 69 x 9 millimeters / 135 grams
  • Colours: Black, White

ASUS Padfone StationASUS Padfone 2 Station specifications:

  • Display: 10.1-inch WXGA (1280×800) IPS
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Rear-facing camera: None
  • Front-facing camera: 1MP
  • Connectors: ASUS 13-pin dock connector
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Weight: 514 grams

The ASUS Padfone 2 will launch before the end of December in a number of European and Asian countries. No mention was made of a North American launch and it remains unclear if the Padfone 2 will ever launch here. It will sell for €799 (about CA$1030) for the 32GB model and €899 (about CA$1160) for the 64GB model with the Station included.

Read more: ASUS