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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.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.