Asus is rumoured to be readying a Fonepad, 7.1” Android tablet with “voice communications” (read 3G at least and likely 4G ) running an Intel Atom Z242 processor, 1280 x 800 IPS 10 point touch, 16/32GB ram, Bluetooth, GPS and the rest at wait for it “Under US$300”.
ASUS chose Atom over ARM as it felt it needed more bang for buck powerwise. That will place them in direct competition with Googles slightly higher priced, lower powered, Nexus 7 (also made by Asus which has a 3G HSPA+ option and 32GB for $349).
Asus makes good stuff – in my opinion better quality than Samsung but the Korean giant is catching up fast. It predicts that is will ship 12 million tablets in 2013.
One product that may be a sleeper for Asus is the phablet (called Padfone – not Fonepad above) – a 4.7” ARM based smart phone that docks into a 10.1” tablet shell. Sales of Padfone 2 have been respectable (after they got it right after version 1) and this format could take off.
Now if we could just get the Telcos to offer a pre-paid data card with no expiry…