MWC 2013: Asus unveils Fonepad, a giant smartphone that costs £179

Taiwanese manufacturer Asus has announced the launch of a new device called the Fonepad earlier today, a tablet that can make phone calls and is built along the lines of the Nexus 7 with two very big differences.

Intel, rather than ARM and Nvidia's Tegra 3, will power the tablet. Asus chose an Atom Z2420 processor which is a dual-core model clocked at 1.2GHz and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The second big difference is the presence of a microSD card slot, something that was missing from the Nexus 7.

Other features include a 7in 1,280 x 800 pixels IPS display, 1GB of RAM, an Intel XMM6265 modem, a front facing camera, Bluetooth, Wi-fi, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, GPS and a 4,270mAh battery.

The non-European version of the tablet will come with 8GB onboard storage and a rear camera while the one which is destined to the UK market will come with 16GB but no rear camera. Both models will come with 5GB of lifetime cloud-based storage.

The tablet will launch in the UK and European countries in April 2013 and in APAC territories a month earlier. The Fonepad will carry a SRP of £179/$299, only £20 more than the Google Nexus 7. Asus will also sell two accessories, the VersaSleeve and the Turn case for £20 and £40 respectively.

It is still very early days but it seems that the Fonepad is destined to have the same fortunes as the Google Nexus 7 and become a massively popular device.