Unveiled back at MWC in March, the Asus Padfone was one of the stars of the technology trade show. One of the most original devices of the past couple of year, the smartphone-within-a-tablet-within-a-netbook (it’s got a stylus too) seems almost too good to be true.
After being first previewed more than a year ago, the Padfone should finally hit the Western markets sometimes soon. The all-in-one device has already been priced and released in Taiwan, and it’s expected to hit Europe by the end of May. The United States launch is not yet confirmed, but a fresh official demo video should get the level of hype surrounding the Padfone to new levels, so an American launch seems imminent.
The demo video has some editing issues (the first part of the clip is repeated with no sound), but that shouldn’t prevent you from getting excited. The Padfone shown in the clip looks absolutely gorgeous and the phone’s interaction with the pad and the keyboard dock looks so natural and cool.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Padfone concept, it’s practically a 4.3-inch smartphone that can transform in either a tablet or a netbook in a matter of seconds. However, you won’t be able to use the Padfone both as a phone and a tablet at the same time (or as a phone and a netbook). The handheld is packing all the hardware, while the Padfone Station and dock are just shells that extend the display real estate and add extra battery juice.
Talking about hardware, we should also remind you that the Padfone is powered by a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, features an Adreno 225 GPU, as well as 1 GB of RAM, 64 GB of on-board storage, an 8-megapixel rear-facing shooter, and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The phone sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a 540 x 960 pixels resolution, while the tablet comes with a 10.1-inch screen with an unspecified resolution.
You can get a feel of how the processor and GPU work on the Padfone in the demo video below, where you’ll also get to witnesses of one of the boldest claims ever made by Asus. I’m talking about the hybrid’s autonomy, said to be of around 16 hours when using the Padfone as a phone, up to 63 hours with the phone fitted into the tablet station, and up to 102 hours (!), when using the keyboard dock.
The video also shows us what looks like a very cool multifunctional accessory, a stylus that can be used as a headset. Now that’s what I call innovative, which is why I’m dying to see the Asus Padfone enjoy an international release.
How about you, guys? Do you think that the Padfone has what it takes to become a worldwide hit? Will the hybrid be worth its “premium” price (around 700 dollars without the keyboard dock, according to rumors)? Tell us your opinion in the comments section below!