Asus Padfone - 4.3-inch smartphone docks inside 10.1-inch tablet


May 31, 2011

Image Gallery (10 images)

Asus always opens its home computer show Computex with a bang and this year it was the Padfone - a 4.3-inch smartphone that docks inside a 10.1-inch tablet dock with dynamic display switching, two batteries, a shared SIM card, a single hard drive, Qualcomm processor, Android's next generation operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich) and a Q4, 2011 launch date with a price in the US$800-1,000 area.

While specifics are thin on the ground at the moment, the ASUS smartphone will run on the latest version of Android available at launch and have all the functionality we've come to expect from such a device - browsing the internet, checking emails, watching online videos and playing addictive games like Angry Birds. If you find yourself wanting to watch movies or enjoy games on a bigger screen, the smartphone can be docked within the body of the tablet. There's no need to switch off one to use the other, whatever you were up to at docking time will be continued on the bigger screen and if you receive a call while using the tablet, you could either whip out the phone or connect using a Bluetooth headset.

ASUS says that there will be some sort of shared storage pool in the smartphone part of the device so that users won't have to concern themselves with synchronizing data between the two. This also suggests that the smartphone will likely provide the processing for the tablet too. The tablet, though, will not be a mere dumb terminal - it will also provide extra connectivity ports and some juice for the smartphone's battery.

It's another design masterpiece from ASUS, which consistently demonstrates the ability to think outside the square and the Padfone will enable users to switch between pad and phone for a best-fit user experience - too often I find myself using a smartphone and wanting more screen real estate or a tablet but finding it restrictive in the environment - the Padfone will definitely cure that problem.

It will also be interesting to see if this two-in-one approach encourages Android developers not to charge for separate phone/tablet ("HD") versions as is very common (and very annoying) on iOS devices.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

For $1000, you can buy both an iPhone and iPad and switch between them for a \"best-fit user experience.\" What\'s the advantage of squeezing both into a convertible device? That dock hatch looks particularly flimsy and the latches very inelegant, hardly a \"design masterpiece.\" Don\'t get me wrong, I own and like Asus products. But I just don\'t see why Mike Hanlon is so excited about this product.


Now this is cool. Single download location, single device set up and the ability to upgrade screen size and user experience. (Now if they can get some way to go one up and provide a Tablet PC version so that I can ditch my laptop... ;-)

Francois Retief

Apple fanboys be hatin... I\'ll want to see the the exact specs and a couple of hand on reviews before I can judge this product, of course, more insecure people would just start pointing fingers before they even inspected it.

Stefan Padureanu

Nice concept, but I\'d prefer a range of different screens, all of which could receive output from my superphone as the single core device.

Similarly, allow a range of different input devices, including onphone multi-touch, plus e.g. bluetooth keyboard

You don\'t necessarily even need to own the screen - just walk up and proximity login

BTW I have an HTC Desire and have just got an HTC Flyer; I\'ve downloaded all the same apps (as far as possible) and there are 2 things I have found: 1. VERY cool ... 2. BUT ... it would be much easier to have 1 set of apps and data, not 2; same for SIM cards, data plans, etc 2.


Ah, yes. Always prove your impartiality by labeling anyone who dares to criticize your favored device as a \"fanboy.\" I\'m somehow jumping to conclusions but an article that also predates reviews, additional specs or hands-on experience is completely forgiven for instantly calling it a \"design masterpiece\" based on a press release.

What if I were to announce a concept of a motorcycle that docks with a shell with additional seats, a roof and a trunk, turning it into a car? But it would cost the same as a comparable car plus a separate motorcycle. Most people would say it makes no sense. For the same price, they\'d rather have two independently functional vehicles. The same applies here. For the same price, I\'d rather have two devices with twice the storage rather than one fully functional device and one accessory that\'s useless without the first.


Good application of thinking outside the box, but, I can not see phone/laptop netwook provider Three, adopting it. Firstly, it likes to provide separate plans for a phone and computer dongle/laptop package, thus, allowing it to charge for two separate products.

Saying that, a network provider that does decide to provide a single package, that allows the phone to be the main connecting device, that when docked with the larger pad, it becomes an all singing dancing tablet unit with phone ... will give Asus as a company the manopoly for present and future customers to buy only the Asus brand phones/tablets (physical phone size will need to stay the same). Imagine, if the product range of docking the phone was increased to laptops, and home PC\'s!

Surely, this will/must be giving Apple a run for the money!?! All I would add here also, is that if rumours are right about Apple lauching Ipad3 in October/November, and that its also considering to use quad-core processing power in its chip, then both Asus and Apple customers will be led by specification and costs. Who ever keeps the overall costs down, will in my opinion be the adaptive winner!!!

Maybe Asus should call the device, \'Interlect\'... hhhmm?

Harpal Sahota

@Harpal Sahota . . . Android phones already have the ability to connect with non apple tablets, laptops, pc\'s, televisions, Etc. DLNA and HDMI out allow you to use your phone to play music, run slide shows, even watch movies on any hdmi compatible platform.


Am I wrong or wouldn\'t a phone of any serving as you internet connection be more expensive than a standard wi-fi connection where data charges are independent of the data quantity.


clone of but nice design. would be better if all of the phone were visible while in the cradle, i think. :) .

Joe Wesson

this is just a great concept the dock is not "flimsy" its the same dock from the trasnformer prime no dnla does not allow this ! dnla share photot movies n videos over a shared wifi connection ,this puts every aspect of your o.s. on a bigger screen and with android 4.0 which is designed to run on tablets and phones its gonna be greattt yes it has wifi and internal antennas to boost the phones reception

the only thing that i would change is the door on the back i would make it so the phone clips right in to the back to make a smooth finish and im curious if carries like crap att and verizon will even wanna carry it since they like raping people for seperate data plans but for the first device this is insaneeee

imagine when samsung makes their own verzion and htc! omg omg my whole cocern with gettin an ipad or a tablet is that my phone does the exact same things why should i shell out 500 and another data plan for a bigger screen ? this answers that simply amazing

Travis Graves
Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles