ASUS announced two new updates to its Fonepad lineup this week: one 6-inch model with a SuperIPS+, 1920×1080 display, and a 7-inch model with a “regular” IPS 1280×800 screen. Each is powered by Intel’s newer Clover Trail system-on-chip (SoC), with the Fonepad Note 6E snagging a 2GHz Z2580 and the Fonepad 7E picking up a cheaper Atom Z2560 which runs at 1.6GHz. The 6E also scores 2GB of RAM, meaning you’ll be able to keep more tabs open in your browser without reloading – something the larger screen will no doubt tempt customers to do.
If it wasn’t obvious by its name alone, ASUS is going straight after Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 – the Fonepad Note 6E also features a built-in stylus and a few stylus-optimized pre-installed applications.
Both phones pick up 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 as well as 850/900/1900 MHz. GSM/HSPA support. The Note 6E gets 2100MHz, but the 7E does not. There’s no report of LTE, but depending on where you are, that might not matter too much.
Each supports expansion via microSD card slots, which should make the phablets popular with some enthusiasts. This is on top of the 16GB/32GB onboard you’ll get with the Fonepad Note 6E, and the 8GB/16GB/32GB you’ll score with the Fonepad 7E.
If you’re thinking that the 7E sounds like an overall weaker device, you’d be right – but it does win for battery capacity. The Fonepd 7E comes with a 3950mAh battery, which ASUS claims will deliver up to 10 hours of battery life for video playback and 28 hours of 3G talk time. The Note 6E ‘only’ features a 3200mAh version – so you’ll see video playback cut down to 6.5 hours, with 3G talk time driven down to 23.
ASUS is keeping mum about how much you can expect to pay for either model, but that lack of LTE should help to keep the price a bit cheaper than it might be otherwise – after all, you can pick up Sony’s 3G-only version of its Xperia Z Ultra for just $650 with no contract.