At a press event yesterday, Asus officially launched the latest in their range of tablets here in India. They launched the Padfone, which is a Phone, Tablet and a Netbook all rolled into one and the Transformer Tab TF300G, a 3G enabled tablet with a keyboard dock which extends the tablet’s battery life.
The Padfone is a unique product from Asus which acts as an Android phone, which when docked to the Padfone station becomes a 10.1″ tablet. This when docked with the Padfone station Dock, features a full keyboard with a multi-touch trackpad making this combo a netbook. In the last configuration, you can get up to 102 hours of talk time on your phone, since the tablet and the keyboard have separate batteries which is used to charge the phone while it’s docked.
More about the Padfone right after this video of an awesome Laser show from the launch event.
The Asus Padfone
The Asus Padfone is a premium range device from Asus, which is an Android Phone which docks into a tablet for a bigger display and extended battery charger. Their package also features a keyboard dock, which provides a physical keyboard and even more battery backup for your phone. That’s a lot of batteries – The phone comes with a 1520 mAh battery, the tablet (or the PadFone station, as Asus calls it) has a 24.4 Watt-hour battery, and the keyboard dock (The Padfone Station Dock) features 24.4 Watt-hour battery. All these put together gives your phone a whopping 102 hours of talktime.
The phone features a 4.3 inch qHD display (960 x 540), 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, a Qualcomm dualcore 1.5GHz processor, 8MP rear camera & a 0.3 MP front camera. The phone runs on Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich. When the phone is docked into the docking station in the tablet, the display from the phone is dynamically switched over to the 10.1″ screen, with a resolution of 1280 x 800. During this switch all your apps continue from where you left it on the phone, so you can continue that video and game from the phone to the tablet. During the event they demoed a video being played on the tablet and when the phone was undocked, the video oh the phone continued playing from where it left off while viewing it on the tablet.
The keyboard dock along with additional USB connectors and card reader to extend the onboard storage or transfer data in and out of your phone. Along with this Asus is also throwing in a Bluetooth Stylus in their bundle. The Stylus allows to receive calls when your phone is docked into the tablet, apart from using it to draw, sketch or write on the tablet.
“Today’s introduction of PadFone will be an utmost expansion of our users’ world where they will enjoy, achieve and save categorically. It is an alluring proof to substantiate our prime focus on the mastery of technological innovation and design perfection. We are assertive that PadFone will touch customers’ heart in terms of incredible product, incredible design, incredible quality and incredible service,” Mr. Alex Huang, Managing Director, System Business Group, Asus India said.
Asus Padfone Specs
The Padfone pricing in India
Asus is planning on selling the Padfone package in India for an MRP of Rs. 64,999. This includes the phone, tablet, the keyboard dock and the bluetooth Stylus.
What do we think?
The Asus Padfone is on the pricier side of the spectrum. You have to make a choice to use the phone + tablet from Asus. Since tablet doesn’t function unless the phone is docked in, it’s not like buying two different devices, but extending the same device. So the kids or others at home can’t play on the tablet while you’re out using the phone.
If you’re like me, who ends up doing quite a lot of my communication and some of my work on the phone or tablet, the bigger screen and a physical keyboard for the phone, when I need to type out on docs, email and blog posts, is an added advantage. The additional battery backups from the tablet and the keyboard dock is also an excellent option when travelling. I don’t know about answering calls on the stylus though, even though it sounds cool in the geek world.
Would I pay a the premium cost this tablet commands? I’d say, probably not. Asus may get a little more traction with sales of the Padfone if they de-couple the devices and sold the phone+tablet separately at a lower cost, so people could get that without the keyboard dock and the stylus.