Feeds
Asus FonePad

Asus FonePad: You may feel a bit of a spanner

The smartphone that thinks it’s a tablet - and a bloody good job too

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Performance hang-ups

The on-paper lack of performance is really only an issue when it comes to 3D gaming where, I suspect, optimisation issues also raise their ugly heads. The likes of Shadowgun, Dead Trigger and NOVA 3 run but only just, and playing an “only just running” game is no fun. The user interface, on the other hand, was always wholly fluid and 1080p video played perfectly in the stock Gallery app.

At 340g, the FonePad weighs the same as the Nexus 7 - or, to put it another way, two and a half times as much as a Sony Xperia Z. The FonePad's external dimensions are very similar to the Nexus 7 but that’s hardly surprising as they are built by the same company - Asus. The FonePad’s brushed aluminium back looks more stylish and feels more pleasant than the Nexus 7’s dimpled plastic posterior.

Benchmark Results

Asus FonePad AnTuTu

It’s a very sleek device too, the only extrusions being the slightly too small volume and power switches on the left, and the 3.5mm audio and micro USB ports on the bottom.

The SIM and memory cards live beneath a removable plastic panel at the top of the device. Every time I’ve encountered this design in the past, the panel has been a poor fit and prone to coming adrift accidentally. That’s not the case here. The cover locks firmly in place and is actually a bit of a sod to open.

When Intel first started sticking its Atom chips in smartphones there was much guffawing about the expected battery-draining power consumption but the opposite has proved to be the case. The battery life of the Razr i is among the best of any smartphone, and the FonePad repeats the trick.

I averaged two and a half days between charges despite a pretty heavy regime that involved me using the FonePad for all the tasks I’d usually split between my Razr i and Nexus 7. Looping a 720p video gave a run time of seven and a half hours, which is acceptable.

Asus FonePad Splendid app

Asus’ Splendid app (left) - and the mini apps it adds to stock Android (right)

What separates the FonePad from most other Android slates - the odd Samsung aside - is the phone dialer and SMS client, which look and work exactly as they do on any Android smartphone, just bigger.

Hold the FonePad to your ear and you are going to look like a spanner, but appearances aside it works perfectly well as a phone. I’ve hardly got the hands of a navvy but could comfortably hold it against my head even for long conversations.

Thanks to noise-cancelling dual-microphones and a decent ear speaker, call quality was more than up to snuff. There’s even a proximity sensor so it knows when you're holding the thing to your mug. The main loudspeaker is less impressive. It’s on a par with the speaker in the Nexus 7 though that’s not much of a recommendation.

Asus FonePad comms hub

BuddyBuz is Asus’ social network aggregator

The benefits of a 7-inch screen for e-reading and the like are self-evident and hardly need to be spelled out. That’s why iPad Minis and Nexus 7s sell by the shedload. Where the FonePad’s extra screen space comes into its own is when you're running messaging apps. The likes of Skype and Tango simply look better on a large screen, especially when it comes to video calls, but some over-the-top apps like WhatsApp (so called because they piggyback someone else's network) will only work on a device with a SIM card.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.