ASUS may yet be getting another one of its PadFone hybrids inside the country. While we’re still waiting for AT&T to give the green light for the PadFone X, another device was seen at the FCC, sporting some rather curious, if not disappointing, features.
ASUS promised to expand its PadFone line to the US and it started with the PadFone X, to be available exclusively from AT&T. But what users of this current gen PadFone will be missing is the keyboard option that came with the first iterations of the smartphone/tablet line. Although the devices are admittedly quite useful by themselves, as a phone and as a tablet, having an option to have a keyboard and set it up like a notebook is definitely a big plus.
However, this PadFone, which some are calling PadFone 6, might not exactly be the return to the roots that some of us would like, depending on how you see the information gleaned from the FCC’s database. First, there is the matter of size. A blurry photo suggests that the phone part of the configuration reaches from top to almost the bottom of the tablet. If the tablet dock is 10.1-inch one, then we might be looking at a very huge phablet, probably the largest phone-half a PadFone ever had. Second, the keyboard might not all be that good. The dock is believed to connect via Bluetooth, instead of the previous physical connection between tablet dock and keyboard dock. There will probably be some advantages to such a design, but there will also be disadvantages coming from sometimes unreliable and not especially fast Bluetooth connections. There also doesn’t seem to be any data connection ports as the solitary micro USB port seems to be dedicated solely for charging the keyboard dock’s battery, which is meant for Bluetooth rather than the PadFone itself.
If things do turn out this way, buyers might be attracted to the more handy PadFone X and buy a Bluetooth keyboard separately instead, although they might be sacrificing the more portable form of a laptop-like setup. That said, much of this information surrounding the “PadFone 6” is based on speculation from rather incomplete puzzle pieces, and we can only hope that the remaining pieces will paint a different and better picture.