Asus announces new Fonepad and Memo Pad tablets

Asus also upgrades Fonepad 6 Note phablet with faster processor

Asus' Fonepad 7

Asus' Fonepad 7

Asustek has announced new tablets with different screen sizes, adding new 6-inch and 7-inch models to its Fonepad lineup and also two new 8- and 10-inch Memo Pad tablets.

The new tablets were unveiled at the IFA trade show in Berlin, where other companies like Samsung and Sony are announcing mobile products. The new tablets run on Android 4.2, also known as Jellybean.

The new Fonepad 6 Note tablet, which is also used for telephony, has new hardware including a faster Intel Atom processor. Also called a phablet, the device has a 6-inch screen that can display images at a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The tablet weighs 210 grams, is 10.3-mm thick and runs on an Intel dual-core Atom Z2580 processor code-named Clover Trail+.

The Note 6 supports only 3G connectivity, which means it could be targeted at developing countries. The phablet's battery provides 23 hours of 3G talk-time and 6.5 hours of 720p video playback, according to Asus. The device provides up to 32GB of storage and 2GB RAM. It also has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2-megapixel front camera. Other features include a micro-USB port, a micro-SIM slot and a micro-SD slot for expandable storage.

The 340-gram Fonepad 7 has a 7-inch screen, and runs on an Intel Atom processor. The device offers up to 28 hours of 3G talk time and 10 hours of video playback on a single battery charge, according to Asus.

The tablet is 10.5-mm thick and can display images at a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Other features include up to 32GB of storage, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2-megapixel front camera.

While the Fonepads are designed for telephony, the new Memo Pad tablets are targeted at budget buyers. The Memo Pad 8 and Memo Pad 10 run on quad-core processors and have screens that can display images at a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution.

The MemoPad 8-inch tablet is the size of a typical 7-inch tablet, but has more screen space. It weighs around 350 grams, and offers eight hours of battery life on a single charge. Other features include a 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel rear camera and up to 8GB of storage.

The Memo Pad 10 weighs around 522 grams, and offers around 9.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, Asus said. It has a 2-megapixel rear camera, a 1.2-megapixel rear camera and up to 16GB of storage.

Asus also announced the Transformer Pad TF701T multimedia tablet, which has a 10.1-inch screen and could be its fastest tablet to date. The notable features include a 2560 x 1600 pixel display and an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, which is one of the faster ARM tablet processors available outside of Samsung's Exynos 5 chips. Other features include a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.2-megapixel front camera and a USB 3.0 port to connect high-speed storage devices.

The TF710T weighs 585 grams and offers around 13 hours of battery life, Asus said. However, the battery life could change depending on usage. For example, playing games will drain the battery much quicker.

Information on pricing and availability of the tablets was not immediately available. Asus did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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