Asus is about to launch 2 new tablets as competitors for its own Nexus 7 tablet: the MemoPad 7 and MemoPad 10. But it seems they plan to unveil yet another low-end tablet, called the FonePad K004, and this one is going to be powered by Intel's low-performance/low-power Atom Lexington.
The name of the tablet is a little weird considering they already have the Padfone name for its line of phones, and now they are going with Fonepad for tablets? If the Padfone was successful at all, I believe it was despite of the name, not because of it. I don't think using a different variation of it is going to make their tablet more successful than it would be otherwise. If anything it will just cause more confusion.
The specs of the tablet include:
- single core Atom Lexington 1.2 Ghz (only with Turbo-Boost)
- 7-inch IPS display
- 1,280 x 800 resolution
- 1 GB of RAM,
- 16 GB storage
- 3 MP camera
- 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
I've talked about how I don't think Atom Lexington is up to par, even for low-end devices, and that the quad core Cortex A7 chips from Qualcomm, Mediatek, and others are not only more energy efficient, but also much better at multi-tasking (that's what a quad core chip would do best), and overall performance in general. Considering a Cortex A7 chip at 28nm is only 0.5mm2, it should be very chip to buy for manufacturers, as well. So other than wanting to somehow benefit from the "Intel" name (while paying a premium for it), I don't see why Asus decided to use this instead, especially when native ARM apps like 3D games need to be emulated on Intel's hardware for them to work.
We don't know the pricing yet, as it's still an unannounced product, but considering it's other specs, I don't imagine it would be much cheaper than $200. Considering that this year you'll be able to buy quad core Cortex A7 or even MIPS-based tablets for $100 or less, I don't think that will be a very good proposition. In fact the rumored price actually puts it somewhere around $265 (THB 7,900), so it's not even very competitive with a Nexus 7 on price, even though the Nexus 7 has much higher performance. We should learn more about this tablet at MWC 2013.