When Asus launched the Fonepad today for Rs 15,999 they threw a fresh conundrum at consumers. Should they buy the FonePad or go for the Google Nexus 7 3G tablet that Asus launched a couple of weeks ago?

Spec-for-spec there isn’t too much separating the two but the devil, as always, is in the details. Both tablets are pretty similar in terms of dimensions and thickness and weigh nearly the same. Even when it comes to screen resolution both have a 7-inch WXGA display with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. The LED IPS panel on the devices should also ensure great viewing angles. The Nexus 7 also has Gorilla Glass protection for the screen which the Fonepad lacks. 

Asus Nexus 7

Asus Nexus 7

When it comes to storage the Asus Fonepad has only 8 GB of onboard storage, while the Nexus 7 has 32 GB. The good bit is that the Asus tab allows you to expand the storage to 32 GB via a microSD card. That would mean that the Asus Fonepad will end up with more usable memory than the Nexus 7. The Asus Fonepad also scores over the Nexus 7 because it has a 3 MP rear camera which the Nexus 7 does not have. Both tablets have a similar 1.2 MP front-facing camera and can record 720p videos.

The biggest difference between the two is the chipset powering them. The Asus runs on Atom Z2420, a hyper-threaded, single core CPU which is able to generate appreciable performance as we have seen with the XOLO X500. The Nexus 7 on the other hand packs in a lot thanks to the Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC onboard. This chipset boasts of four Cortex-A9 CPUs running at 1.2GHz along with a twelve-core GeForce GPU.  The Nexus 7 and the Asus Fonepad have 1 GB of RAM to run those apps. 

Has the capabilities of a smartphone and a tablet

The Asus Fonepad  – a smartphone and a tablet

The Asus Fonepad doesn’t run the latest version of Jelly Bean unlike the Nexus 7 and considering the Nexus is a Google device it will receive Android updates way before the Fonepad. It is also worth noting that the Nexus 7 has a marginally bigger battery and so should last longer than the Fonepad. On the other hand the Fonepad does have GLONASS, which the Nexus 7 does not and so could be a slightly better travel companion. We can assume that neither device will hold any advantage over the other in terms of 3G calling etc.

But the conundrum does resolve itself when you weigh in all the factors and the prices of these devices. The Asus Fonepad is listed at Rs 15,999, while the 32GB Nexus 7 3G is retailing at Rs 21,990. The difference is quite substantial and that coupled with the better camera on Fonepad should make the latest hybrid from Asus a better buy.

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