Asus Fonepad Note review: an Intel-powered tablet with Android OS

Written by B Johnson January 19, 2014
Asus Fonepad Note
Asus Fonepad Note is probably the company's attempt to compete against Samsung Note series. This phablet does have something to offer on the table, like Intel Atom processor, PowerVR GPU and phone functionalities. But is it that great?
Hi guys, hello! It’s me again, Brian! Welcome back!

A while ago, i just shared to you one Asus tablet that really disappointed me a lot.

Asus Fonepad Note

Today i have another Asus tablet that i think is just so much even better than the last tablet just i just showed you earlier.

This one is Asus Fonepad Note and by the sounds of it, this tablet is a 6-inch tablet sporting a full HD screen.

And turns out, it’s true.

Asus Fonepad Note is indeed an Android tablet with a 6-inch full HD display. However, that’s not the only thing that will make this tablet a worth buying tablet.

There are some sectors on this tablet that might even impress all of us here, especially tablet enthusiasts.

Well, if you’re interested to know more about this tablet, then check out my personal review of this Asus Fonepad Note FHD6.

But as usual, before you go straight to read my review, please allow me to give you the brief introduction of this tablet.


In tablet market, we all know that Asus is so freakin’ popular with its entire Asus Transformer line, which aims at power productive users who demand a tablet with the support of keyboard.

This tablet series actually has been doing great, as Asus still keeps updating this series with the new tablet line every year, even revolutionizing this series by bringing the true dual-bot hybrid tablets with Windows 8 Pro OS and Android OS (yup, you’re right, the Transformer Book Trio!).

Besides offering keyboard-docked Asus Transformer tablets to the market, this tablet manufacturer also has some other great tablet line under its sleeve (which have already been unveiled long time ago of course), like Asus Padfone series, Asus Memo Pad series and Asus VivoTab RT.

Asus Fonepad Note

However, there is one new tablet line that Asus just debuted 2 months ago (to be exact in November 2013).

And that is Asus Fonepad Note series, with Asus Fonepad Note becoming the first tablet under this series.

Unlike other tablet series from Asus, Asus Fonepad Note is aiming at the segmented tablet market of people who are looking for a good and ideal size of note tablet.

So in other words, this tablet is aiming its bullet on Samsung GALAXY note market, just like Tegra Note.

However, does this tablet stack up against other note-intended tablets out there, especially the top leader in this market, Samsung GALAXY Note?

Well, we’re about to find out about that in my personal review of this tablet.


In terms of design, Asus Fonepad Note FHD6 looks so gorgeous and elegant at the glance.

The design of Asus Fonepad Note actually kind of reminds me with the design of the current Samsung GALAXY devices, especially Note 3 and Note 10.1.

This Asus tablet has this metal-alike trimming around the side of tablet, the same one found on the design of Samsung GALAXY Note 3 or Note 10.1.

The good thing is, Asus doesn’t walk on the same path as LG, which tries to blatantly copy the design of Samsung GALAXY devices on its latest LG series (like LG G2, LG G Pro and other more), even Samsung’s TouchWiz UI.
Asus Fonepad Note
Interestingly, that metal-alike trimming that is rounded around this tablet is also added by Asus on the top and bottom sides of this tablet (when positioned in normal vertical view), making it look different than Samsung GALAXY devices.

Meanwhile, the bezels of this tablet are not that huge, but the rounded shape of corners on this tablet look so fully rounded, just like the rounded corners of Google Nexus 10 or old-gen Samsung GALAXY tablets.

On the back side of Asus Fonepad Note, there you’ll find the 8MP rear-facing camera on the top area.

What really disappoints me is the material used on this back cover, which is plastic and makes it look so cheap and ugly, where the specs of this tablet, not to mention its stylus support, are impressive for me.

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  • Also known as Asus Fonepad Note 6 ME560CG.
  • SIM Micro-SIM
  • Released November 2013
  • 6.0 inch Super IPS+ LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1080 x 1920 pixels, (~367 ppi pixel density)
  • Dual-core 2 GHz Intel Atom Z2580 CPU
  • PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Android OS, v4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera, autofocus
  • 1.2 MP front-facing camera
  • microSD card slot for up to 64 GB
  • 16/32 GB Internal storage
  • GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 - 48 kbps
  • EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi
  • No Radio
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC
  • USB
  • Java
  • Non-removable Li-Po 3200 mAh battery (15 Wh)
  • Up to 23 hours Talk time
  • Up to 490 hours (2G) and Up to 334 hours (3G) Stand-by mode
Asus Fonepad Note comes with:
  • a 6-inch full HD 1080x1920 pixel display,
  • a dual-core Intel Atom processor clocked at staggering 2GHz per core,
  • 2GB of RAM (which is great),
  • PowerVR SGX 544 MP2 GPU (which is the same GPU found on older iOS devices, iPhone 5 if i’m not mistaken),
  • 8MP rear-facing camera,
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera,
  • 3200mAh battery
  • and a bunch of other standard features like NFC, Java, GPS, USB, WiFI
  • and the good news is, this tablet is also equipped with cellular connectivity.

Overall, i’m really impressed with the entire spec sheet of this tablet.

It has a full HD 1080p display, a powerful dual-core Intel Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM, PowerVR SGX 544 GPU (which is a powerful GPU 2 years ago), 8MP camera and especially, the support of its official stylus that is made by Asus itself.

Asus Fonepad Note definitely deserves to be positioned alongside rivals like Samsung GALAXY Note 3, Tegra Note and other high-end devices out there.


If the 1920x1080 pixel resolution already looks extremely sharp on the small 7-inch tablets (instead of 10-inch), then this high resolution will look even sharper on the smaller 6-inch display of Asus Fonepad Note.

As a result, everything that you throw on this screen will look insanely sharp and crisp, thanks to its high resolution full HD resolution on a smaller 6-inch display.

Watching movies, reading books or magazines and browsing the web definitely will gain the most advantages from this high resolution full HD display.

Movies will look insanely sharp.

Books, magazines and web pages will also look so crisp and clear in normal view, eliminating the needs to do zoom in zoom out because text can be read easily and images can be seen perfectly in normal view.

So the whole experience of using this tablet will be amazing and on par with Samsung GALAXY Note 3, which also uses the same exact full HD 1080x1920 on its smaller 5.7-inch, although Note 3 is still the best.


Just like Samsung GALAXY Note or Tegra Note, Asus Fonepad Note is also equipped with a bunch of cool features that are dedicated to its official stylus.

So if you love doing manual writing with your hands and want almost everything on this tablet to be done with this stylus, then you must get used with all the features that are built on this tablet.

However, i’m not really sure if the stylus that is packed on this tablet has a great touch response as other rivals like Samsung GALAXY Note 3 or Tegra Note.

Samsung GALAXY Note 3 with its stylus, as we all know, already becomes the best drawing platform for many professional artists to create their professional paintings.

Meanwhile, even though Tegra Note is a new player in note tablet market, this device amazingly also has a great touch response just like Samsung’s phablet.

And both devices come pre-loaded with their own stylus-dedicated features and apps, which have their own strengths.

So Asus Fonepad Note definitely has 2 strong competitors here.

The good news is, given that Asus Fonepad Note is made by Asus, which is one of the most innovative manufacturers in tablet market (with its Asus Transformer series, Asus Padfone series and Google Nexus 7 series), then i don’t have any single doubt that this tablet has what it takes to be a great rival for Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and Tegra Note.

It may not be as popular as Note 3 nor as great as Tegra Note in term of gaming performance (given that Tegra is made for gaming), but i still believe Asus Fonepad Note is still a great note tablet on the market to date.

Besides, this device is using a 6-inch display, which bridges the gap between Note 3 and Tegra Note that both are using 5.7-inch display and 7-inch display respectively.

So by getting Asus Fonepad Note, we can have a more ideal size of phablet if we are not really comfortable using the 5.7-inch display on Note 3 or 7-inch display on Tegra Note.

User Interface

Just like any other Asus tablets out there, this Asus Fonepad Note also comes pre-installed with the standard UI of stock Android software, of course with some additions of features and apps especially dedicated to its stylus.

The good thing is, Asus tablets have been known as the Android tablets with fast and smooth performance and UI, thanks to the optimization of hardware and software.

So even if this tablet is equipped with some features dedicated to its stylus, the whole experience of using this tablet is still fast and smooth, even for doing some heavy tasks at once.


When it comes to performance, Asus Fonepad Note really screams.

With the internals like Intel Atom processor with the clock speed of 2GHz per core, 2GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX544 MP2 GPU, the performance of this tablet is blazing fast.

Intel, as we all know already, is the best chip manufacturer on this earth, with many of its creations found on even today’s popular devices, like Macbook family from Apple to Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet.

So with that being said, then the Intel Atom that is armed inside this tablet definitely is more than capable to deliver the best horse power to this tablet.

And what makes it even more amazing is, this CPU is clocked at 2GHz, which is a really high clock speed of CPU, if not the highest, even for today’s standard.

So doing things like watching full HD movies, reading books, listening to music, browsing internet, and playing games, all will gain the benefits from this insanely powerful CPU.

And thanks to the 2GB of RAM inside this tablet, you’re blessed with huge memory that allows you to open many apps or do many tasks at the same time without decreasing the performance.

Not to mention, the PowerVR SGX 544 MP2 GPU on this tablet will give huge benefits especially when playing games.

All of these heavy tasks can be executed perfectly on this device without any lag whatsoever.

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As mentioned above, Asus Fonepad Note is armed with a 2GHz dual-core Intel Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX 544 MP2 GPU, and that means, this tablet is more than capable to run any games on Google Play Store.

Even the graphically demanding games like Asphalt 7: Heat, Modern Combat 1 and 2, ShadowGun, Samurai Showdown or Dead Trigger will run seamlessly without any lag.

However, i’m not really sure if these heavy games will run perfectly in full graphics on this tablet.

It’s not because this tablet is weak in hardware and performance, but it’s more because it’s really rare to see Android devices today are powered with this type of specs.

So if you’re getting this device, it’s probably gonna be harder to find the right games that are specifically designed for this tablet.

Yes – this device is more than capable to run even the most graphics intense games on Google Play Store right now.

And these heavy games can be played perfectly and smoothly on this device, in full graphics.

However, you need to find the right build of app or game files specifically for this device, in order to run smoothly in full graphics.

But hopefully, Google Play Store right now already has the complete list of games that are well-optimized specifically for this tablet.

So you don’t have to go somewhere else on 3rd party websites or sources (which can be dangerous for your device) in order to find the right game files for Asus Fonepad Note.

Meanwhile, when faced with the latest games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4 or GTA San Andreas, this tablet will sluggish at best.

I've actually already seen this tablet try to run Modern Combat 4. But this game is just not playable on this device.

So it's really easy to guess that the more advanced games like Asphalt 8 and GTA San Andreas will not be able to played on this Asus Fonepad Note.


It’s not surprising to see the 8MP rear-facing camera on this tablet, given that its biggest rivals, Samsung GALAXY note 3 and Tegra Note, are already packing their own super powerful cameras.

So if you love taking photos or recording videos in your spare time, then Asus Fonepad Note has you covered with its 8MP camera.

And given that the much lower 5MP camera on a cheapo $150 Asus Memo Pad 7HD has great photo and video quality, despite being a low-end tablet, then you can expect the same on the camera of Asus Fonepad Note or even better, given its much higher 8MP camera module.

Battery Life

Battery life could probably be the great thing that can be found on this tablet.

Asus Fonepad Note comes with a 3200mAh power battery, enabling you to use this tablet in around 23 hours in talk time, 490 hours in 3G stand by mode and 340 hours in 2G stand by mode, as quoted from the source.

This battery is actually one of the highest on any 5 to 6-inch devices out there (Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD has the highest 3300mAh battery) and on par with the 3200mAh power battery inside Samsung GALAXY Note 3.

However, given that Asus Fonepad Note is using a full HD 1920x1080 pixel display, then this high resolution display definitely will be one of the biggest battery drainers on this device.

So in normal non-crazy usage, this tablet probably could last in just 7 to 10 hours of screen-on time, which means you can use this tablet in a solid day, in one full charge.

However, if you intend to use this device for doing some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen, like watching HD movies or playing games in the row, then you can only expect this tablet to last around 4 to 6 hours, which is still considered good for today’s standard.

My Personal Opinions

So to sum this up, overall, i really like this Asus Fonepad Note and a LOT.

I really like how this tablet (or phablet?) uses the note concept design, making it the suitable challenger for Samsung GALAXY note 3 and Tegra Note 7.

I also really love the entire spec sheet that this device comes with.
  • From a dual-core Intel Atom CPU clocked at 2GHz (which is a beast),
  • 2GB of RAM (which is huge for today’s standards),
  • PowerVR SGX 544 MP2 GPU (which is the same GPU found on older iPhone 5),
  • a full HD 1920x1080 pixel display (which is gorgeous and insanely sharp for 6-inch device),
  • its stylus,
  • its software,
  • its battery life
  • and pretty much everything about this tablet, i’m really impressed.
However, the things that i’m not a big fan on this device are its plastic design (on the back) and its GPU. I know – the PowerVR SGX 544 is really a powerful GPU (iPhone 5 proves how powerful this GPU).

But the thing is, most of today’s Android games are designed mostly for Adreno GPU (on Snapdragon), Mali-400 GPU and the GeForce ULP GPU on Tegra chip.

For older games, even the highest-performing games like Modern Combat 1 and 2, Asphalt 7: Heat, Samurai Showdown, ShadowGun or Dead Trigger, i believe Asus Fonepad Note is more than capable to run these games perfectly and smoothly in full graphics.

However, when faced with the latest graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger 2 and GTA San Andreas, this tablet will suffer a lot, especially when running them in full graphics.

That’s because these games require the most powerful GPUs on devices in order to run smoothly and in full graphics, like Adreno 330 or 72-core GeForce ULP GPU on Tegra 4.

PowerVR SGX544 GPU on this tablet is great, but it's not that powerful enough to run the latest games released in 2013, of course the high-preforming ones.

So with that being said, then i don’t think Asus Fonepad Note is able to play the latest games like Asphalt 8:Airborne or GTA San Andreas in smooth performance even if these games are set in medium graphics, much worse, in low graphics.

Yes – this tablet is capable to run these high-performing games, however you will need to set their graphics to even the lowest level (especially GTA San Andreas) if you want to play them nicely and smoothly on this tablet.

But don’t worry, that’s my only complaint about this tablet. Overall, Asus Fonepad Note is still
  • a great and powerful 6-inch tablet.
  • It has powerful high-end hardware,
  • great support of stylus,
  • great software,
  • sharp full HD display,
  • great battery life
  • and every thing about this tablet is just great and top notch.
So you’ll make no mistake if you decide to buy this device.

However, if you’re looking for other alternatives, you can get either Samsung GALAXY Note 3 or Tegra Note 7.

These devices are just powerful and great for playing even the most graphics intense games across Google Play Store.

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