Before Asus announced the Fonepad at MWC in Barcelona today, we knew the device's name and little else. Now we know what Asus gets when it inverts the Padfone, in name anyway — the Fonepad is a 7-inch tablet that's a dead ringer for the Nexus 7, and splits the difference between the 5- and 10-inch screens that make up the Padfone.
We've had a few minutes to spend with the device, and though we're not sure it's worth a $50 premium over the Nexus 7, the $249 Android device is light and easy to use, and comfortable if a little cheap. The Intel-powered tablet feels as fast as an Android tablet should, and since it's a low-powered Atom chip Asus is promising 9 hours of battery — we'll have to put that figure to the test another time. The Fonepad feels in every way like an Asus-branded response to the Nexus 7, trying to one-up its Google-branded tablet with voice calling while keeping most of its form and functionality.
Ross Miller contributed to this report.