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!
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Whoa. I want one. Love the stylus/earpiece.
The one big bad for the PadFone – for those of us in the USA – is that it is a GSM phone and the majority of US networking is CDMA. Only AT&T and T-Mobile run GSM networks in the US. Unless one of them picks up the PadFone, or we can buy it unlocked from overseas and make it work on ATT or T-Mob’s networks, we maybe be eating the rest of the world’s GSM-networked dust on this innovation.
Well considering that the four major carriers in the US are sprint Verizon AT&T and tmobile, 50% is still GSM, and 50% is CDMA.
the pen idea is awesome
skeptical this will catch on but i cant put a finger on why.
I would love to have it. If it works as advertised, then I wouldn’t have a problem buying it. It like having any other smart tab with net access 24/7. Without having to pay the extra fee. This makes it a little cheaper than buying another system and having to may for net services.
The HTC One X is $650. The iPhone 4S is $600. How is $700 a premium price for both a phone and a tablet? O_o
you have to say thats it is phone or tablet no times both of them
but who needs phone and tablet at same time? so i will buy it
My concern these days is whether the device has NFC so that I can use Android Beam and a host of other NFC-related apps/solutions coming so fast that when they hit me, my mind boggles.
“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).”
Ummm… yes you can. The stylus lets you take calls while using the Pad! Can’t wait for an unlocked US version to arrive. Price will be key to adoption of this puppy.
Will you clarify your comment on not being able to use the pad and phone at the same time for us?
It seems clear that you can “take” a call while using a 3G data internet connection, but not clear if you can continue surfing while talking.
Also, how is a WiFi connection (as opposed to 3G) affected if a call comes in and you take the call on the Stylus? can you surf WiFi while talking on the phone through the Blurtooth Stylus?
Not a deal killer for me, but functionality is key. Very strong appeal if you can WiFi surf and talk at the same time!
I meant to say that the pad itself can’t be used as a stand-alone tablet without the phone, so you technically can’t use more than one device at once. However, it is true that you can make and answer calls when using the Padfone as a tablet with the help of the stylus, another headset, or simply by holding the tablet next to your ear (which is not the most comfortable variant, clearly).
As for your other question, I’m not in a position to give you a clear answer unfortunately. I haven’t had the chance to play around with a Padfone and, from the reviews and hands-on clips I’ve seen so far, nobody has addressed this aspect just yet. My guess is that you can only make and answer calls with the tablet docked, and not surf the web while talking on the phone. However, that’s just a guess and we should wait for some official clarifications on the matter…
When are you ever going to be using a tablet while holding a phone to your ear? At the most you’re going to be using the tablet while using a bluetooth hands free device, which you can still do here.
If you want a separate tablet and phone there are already many many options for you. This is for someone who wants both and likes the idea of them being one device and cheaper than buying a separate phone and tablet.
16GB Iphone 4s $500 + 64GB Ipad $700 = $1200
HTC One X $550 + Transformer Prime $500 = $1000
Padfone + tablet dock = $700
Tell me again how there is a price premium for this device?