Asus Padfone headed for release in April with headset/stylus: we go hands-on

February 27, 2012
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Easily one of the most-anticipated Android devices over the last year has been the Asus Padfone. First just a concept and eventually a developed product, Asus has finally pulled the wraps off if its shiny new form factor and the hardware that will release in just a couple of months. If you've been following the Padfone, you know it's an Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone that docks to become a full-fledged Android tablet. Asus had two new surprises at its launch event: one, the Padfone will be released in April, and two, they're not done defying conventions: they've added a Galaxy Note-style stylus that doubles as a Bluetooth headset. You read that right.

For hardware, the smartphone portion gets the popular 1.5ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 and a full gigabyte of memory. The phone's screen is a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a qHD resolution, and it packs in 16GB of storage plus an 8MP camera and an HSPA/LTE radio. Of course, the phone is only half the story. Slide it into the tablet dock and the MicroUSB port connects for charging (5 times the battery life!) and the HDMI dock displays your information on the ten-inch 1280x800 tablet screen.

The transition from phone to tablet takes advantage of Ice Cream Sandwich's dual nature, instantly shifting the user interface as needed. The demonstrations of this were seamless: watching a video on the phone continued on the pad with only a slight pause. Obviously the tablet isn't an ideal device for answering calls - that's where the new stylus/headset comes in. It automatically actives if you get a call in tablet mode. Unfortunately the stylus was presented in an eyes-only capacity, and Asus didn't say if it was included or would need to be bought separately.

The phone is surprisingly light, while the tablet (docked) is surprisingly heavy - chock it up to a big battery and heavier-than-expected docking components. That said, both pieces feel like quality electronics, with textured plastic and metal accents. Asus is mum on where it will release the Padfone and which carriers (if any) will offer it. They also weren't talking about a price -a considerable omission when high-end phones alone are pushing the $700 USD mark. Even so, we can't wait to try it out in a more official capacity - April can't get here soon enough.

Kep an eye on our Mobile World Congress portal for all the breaking news on Android smartphones, tablets and everything in between.


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  • firethorn

    Even after the Atrix and its Lapdock pioneered convergence similar to this some time ago, it will still take some getting used to this. I do like where mobile tech is going though and have been dreaming of carrying my “main computer” in my pocket wherever I go.

    A stylus that doubles as a handsfree bluetooth device though? O.o

  • http://twitter.com/MiSoFine SnickerDoodle

    it’s going to be unlocked. no US carrier will carry it.

    • Sperrybird

       Is that confirmed or just rumor? thanks.

  • Ta3

    i love padfone

  • Lee

    The stylus is not like Galaxy Note’s stylus. The galaxy note’s stylus is an active digitizer the other just has a fat capacitive tip like the kind you can buy from amazon or bestbuy. It is a cool idea to have a headset integrated but its rather deceptive to suggest they are the same.

  • Lee

    The stylus is not like Galaxy Note’s stylus. The galaxy note’s stylus is an active digitizer the other just has a fat capacitive tip like the kind you can buy from amazon or bestbuy. It is a cool idea to have a headset integrated but its rather deceptive to suggest they are the same.

  • Lee

    It would be really cool if they added the Ubuntu docking os. We use Linux where I work and having a full linux desktop, I would beg my work for one of these!

    • Raseryu

      No way… Enough of too much geekeness… Desktop Linux sucks bigtime…

  • Lee

    It would be really cool if they added the Ubuntu docking os. We use Linux where I work and having a full linux desktop, I would beg my work for one of these!

  • gmaninvan

    This thing is amazing, but it would be much nicer if, instead of the flip cover, if the phone just clicked into the back exposed and flush. All you would see is a small seam and the rest would appear to be just a normal tablet.

  • gmaninvan

    This thing is amazing, but it would be much nicer if, instead of the flip cover, if the phone just clicked into the back exposed and flush. All you would see is a small seam and the rest would appear to be just a normal tablet.

  • who,s the daddy

    why have they not put tegra3 quad core in this?is the snapdragon dual core as good?i always thought more is better unless you have tumours,please help if you can many thanks.

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

       The Tegra 3 is still not the easiest way to get 4G LTE, although that will soon change.

      The S4 1.5 GHz is extremely fast so don’t worry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1366270207 Mohendra Minocha

    waiting eagerly to have one

  • Boswd

    That’s a sharp looking phone on it’s own.  I alread own the Transformer and if this comes to Verizon by the time of my upgrade this is the running.   Appears to be almost stock ICS with some slight Asus changes .  

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

       Yes I was there.. the phone is awesome and extremely lightweight

  • meghu

     Assus Padfone is having good feature user can use only one plan with two devices, Cost wise also effective, it provides mobile connectivity to the tablet.For more details and video refer http://www.techiecop.com/cellphones/asus-cellphones/asus-padfone-review.html

  • Jose Casas

    Too much reviews, hands on videos, specs, hype.  I believe it is leaps and bounds an evolutionary product!  But want real substance.  Just want to know who will carry it, availability date, prices.  I’m ready now!  Got my checkbook out.  Just hope ASUS does not mess up it’s execution in the production version. I WANT IT NOW!