Asus Fonepad 7 hands-on: tablet-meets-phone update has minimal tweaks compared to original

Asus sure did push out the goods at this year's IFA electronics show in Berlin. The Fonepad 7 is an update to the original 7-inch 3G tablet that joins the also-announced FonePad 6 Note in the line=up, albeit that the 7 comes without an included stylus.

Despite its larger size, the Fonepad 7 is a little less weighty on the features front - with a 1280 x 800 resolution LCD screen and Z2560 Intel Atom processor - and plumps out to 340g in weight. Not that it's heavy, it feels light and plasticky in the hand, but is eminently usable thanks to the Android operating system.

Compared to the original Fonepad 7, not a great deal has changed. The speakers have moved to the front, the processor is more up to date and that's about it. There's the same 3G connectivity for calls and the internet and a 3950mAh battery for bundles of active use time.

But it's not just about comparison. As a standalone device the reasonably budget tablet-meets-phone crossover ought to be affordable and feels amenable in use, thanks to the familiar Android operating system.

No final word on price or release date yet, but we'd anticipate it to be in the regionn of £179 for the 16GB version - much like the original Fonepad 7 was on launch day.