Some called it innovative, some revolutionary, and many just couldn’t believe their eyes. The Asus Padfone took us all by surprise back at the MWC in February, but much of the hype surrounding the smartphone/tablet/netbook hybrid was quickly cooled down by rumors about its pricing.
An online UK store had the Padfone available for preorder starting a few weeks back and it was pretty obvious that most of us will never be able to afford the gadget. However, until today, we didn’t have any official word on the device’s pricing, so some of us still hoped for the best. Well, today we finally have some official details about the Padfone’s pricing and availability and, unfortunately, while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I am unable to deliver anything other than that.
The Asus Padfone will be hitting Taiwan on April 20, with pre-orders starting as soon as tomorrow, and, as far as I can tell, only few technology geeks will afford to get their hands on the hybrid. The smartphone alone (a beautiful 4.3-incher with a qHD Super AMOLED display and a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor under the hood) will cost the good people from Taiwan a hefty NT$ 17,999 (around US $610).
If you want added functionality and the freedom to adapt your gadget to your needs (and I know you do), you’ll have to either pay NT$ 24,980 (US $850, give or take), for the smartphone, tablet-style dock, bluetooth earpiece and stylus, or no less than NT$ 28,901 (US $980, that is), for the all-inclusive package, that comes with a Transformer-style keyboard dock.
While the $1,100 price tag hinted about a month ago proved to be just a tad inaccurate, you’ll still have to pay big bucks for what many consider one of the greatest innovations of the past couple of years.
And, despite the fact that playing the currency conversion game can be misleading, as we know that gadgets are priced differently depending on each market’s profile, it’s pretty obvious that the Padfone will not be affordable (or at least reasonably priced) in any part of the world, anytime soon.
When and if the hybrid will hit the US, it will probably not go for as much as $980. However, it’s impossible to hope for the Padfone to be priced at anything less than, say, $850, or, best-case scenario, $800. Is anyone willing to pay that much in the United States for the Padfone? I would certainly not, but I wouldn’t mind being contradicted, so if any of you thinks about picking this up in the US, I would love to hear your reasoning behind the decision.
On the other hand, it has to be said that the Asus Padfone has not been officially confirmed to come to the US, with only Taiwan, Germany, Hong Kong, and Singapore on the release list for the time being. No launch dates are available for any other market than the Taiwanese one, so stay tuned on our website to find out more about the Padfone!