News Column

A budget tablet with dual SIM functionality from Asus

July 10, 2014

Naushad K Cherrayil Staff Reporter


Asus' new seven-inch tablet - Fonepad 7 (ME175CG) - is an entry-level device with strong built quality and simple design.

The device is powered by Intel dual-core Atom processor clocking 1.2GHz with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution (216 pixels per inch density) and 1GB of RAM. It houses 8GB of internal storage capacity, out of which only 5.21GB is available for users. It can be extended up to 64GB using microSD card, which is pretty good for the price.

The main advantage of this device is that users can make calls and access data using 3G network. It has dual SIM functionality. On the top houses the microUSB port and 3.5mm headset jack while down houses the microphone.

On the left is a big single flap that houses the micro SIM card slots and the microSD card slots. On the right are the volume rocker and the power on/off buttons.

The IPS display producers good colour reproduction with rich details and offers good viewing angles. It does not have an auto brightness setting and users need to manually adjust the settings.

It runs on old Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system with Asus's own user interface on top of it. Apart from the usual apps, Asus has added some useful apps like App Lock, Splendid, Audio Wizard, mirror, Super note, power saver, Miracast software and 16GB cloud storage software. Only a few third-party apps like Zinio and Amazon Kindle Fire are available and Asus did not clutter the home screens.

The SuperNote app lets users read, type, scribble text and insert photos or videos to create multimedia notes.

The 5MP rear camera fails in poor light conditions as it does not have a LED flash. The colours are washed out and grainy.

The 1.2MP front-facing camera is good for selfies and video conferencing.

When it comes to recording, it can shoot Full HD at 30 frames per second. The videos recorded are good in decent light conditions where the colours are rich and detailed. In poor light conditions, it fails due to lack of flash. Watching Full HD movies on this device is superb.

The front camera is capable of recording at 720p.

Asus' SonicMaster delivers high-quality audio with details and enough to fill the room. The Audio Wizard feature lets users customise the sound settings to suit their own taste.

Regarding connectivity, it has WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, GP, AGPS and Glonass.

The 3,950mAh battery produces around eight hours of video playback but gives around 12 hours for surfing internet on WiFi, listening to music and making calls which are average. Asus claims the battery can give 10 hours of video playback and 30 hours of 3G talk time. It is priced at Dh699.

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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

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