In case you missed it, ASUS unveiled what will likely be one of the most talked about devices at the MWC: The ASUS Padfone. A smartphone that docks into a tablet that then docks into a keyboard. The benefits of such a device are enormous. Battery life, productivity, and of course, a single cost data plan for both your tablet and phone.
The Padfone itself is a fairly impressive standalone phone. It will release running Android 4.0 (ICS), Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 4.3 inch Super AMOLED screen, Front camera, and a rear 8 mega-pixel with flash camera. It will be available in a 16, 32, or 64GB size with a Micro-SD slot for additional memory. At 129g and only 9.2mm thick, it’s surprisingly light.
The Padfone can then slide into a hidden slot in the back of the tablet accessory (Padfone Station) and automatically switch into tablet mode. Anything you might have had running on the phone is available and ready to run on the tablet. The tablet will add an additional 5+ hours to the phone’s battery life. The tablet has a 10.1″ screen and runs entirely off the processing and network power of the phone itself. The tablet itself is slightly thicker and heavier than most other tablets out there right now, but that’s to be expected. And honestly, it’s something I can live with at the expense of having this dual purpose device.
The Padfone Station/Tablet can then be docked into the keyboard to add an additional 9+ hours of battery life to the entire ensemble. If you’re at all familiar with the ASUS Transformer line then you’re familiar with the keyboard dock as it is essentially the same setup. It’ll provide additional battery life as well as a full SD Card slot and a full USB port. The top row of keys also serve as special Android specific keys that allow you to perform certain OS tasks without having to touch the screen.
Overall, this looks like an amazing device and I can only hope that one of the carriers here in the US has enough smarts to pick it up. Right now, there’s speculation if any of the major carriers will jump on board. I have no doubt that this would be a hot item if it ever lands stateside. I, for one, can’t wait and will be praying to the tech god’s that it happens.