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Asus PadFone Combines Smartphone, Tablet, Keyboard 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the modular-computing dept.
crookedvulture writes "Asus is showing off a bunch of new devices at the Mobile World Congress in Spain, including a budget Transformer model and an Infinity Series graced with a 10", 1920x1200 display. In addition to the tablets, there's the novel PadFone hybrid. This Snapdragon-powered smartphone has a 4.3" screen with a generous 960x540 resolution. If you want more screen real estate, the PadFone slides into the back of a tablet docking station that offers a 10", 1280x800 display alongside an auxiliary battery. That combo can in turn be plugged into an external keyboard with a full-sized SD slot, USB port, and other perks. The only problem is those auxiliary components are thicker and heavier than Asus' standalone tablets, which offer the same functionality, sans smartphone."
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Asus PadFone Combines Smartphone, Tablet, Keyboard

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  • by kj_kabaje (1241696) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:25PM (#39176973)
    I love how a slashvertisement is brought to you by "Crookedvulture".  Too funny.
    • Anyway, what's the point of news like that when you cannot buy any of these devices. For anyone not living in Japan or the USA these news are nothing but vaporware; if we're lucky we may get something similar for twice the price two years later.

      • Anyway, what's the point of news like that when you cannot buy any of these devices.

        Don't be so sure. Asus have a habit of following through on promises.

        They've even just upgraded the original Tranformer TF101s to Ice Cream Sandwich. Mine quietly upgraded itself on the weekend, and works very nicely with its new OS.

  • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:26PM (#39176979) Journal
    Screw the phone. Tell us more about the laptop...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's not a laptop. Well, not really. It's an upgrade of the Transformer Prime with a higher resolution screen. I have the current Prime, and the docking station, and it is pretty damn close to a laptop, but there are limitations, largely because Android just wasn't designed with a touchpad in mind. I also think the higher resolution screen is a waste, there's just no justification for that kind of resolution on a 10" screen.

      • by treeves (963993) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:43PM (#39177223) Homepage Journal

        ...there's just no justification for that kind of resolution on a 10" screen

        Why not? That's lower pixel density than the 960x540 4.3" screen and you're not complaining about that. (5.4X area, but only 4.4X pixels)

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Angry Birds in 3D HD with force feedback.
      • by Lussarn (105276) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:54PM (#39177337)

        Sure we need higher resolution. I have an iPad 2 and have bought a cople of magazines, but I can't read a page without zooming because of the low resolution. Which is so irritating I no longer by magazines for it.

        And since I'm shopping for an Android tab anyway, this sounds like a good bet.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by M0j0_j0j0 (1250800)

          1st world problems!!

          • by Lussarn (105276)

            Maybe so, but why have a tablet with magazines, and then not make it a "first rate experience". I just buy the magazines at the store instead, and that's fine. I would rather have them on the tablet but not if it's harder to read them. On current tech it is.

          • Have you noticed all the different places recently that buy up your used smartphones/gadgets? hell in the mall there is an automated kiosk (offered me $12 for it, id rather smash it against a wall for that price) . All those used phones/tablet trickle down to the third world, enabling greater communication for all.
          • Umm... you're on a site that mainly talks about blinkie things that cost money. The 'first world problems' joke isn't very spicy around here.

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday February 27, 2012 @05:05PM (#39177495) Journal

        The original Transformer is my primary tablet, and I'd kill for higher resolution. As far as I'm concerned, if I can see individual pixels on the screen, it ain't high enough. And this is even more true of something that's held closer to the eyes than your typical desktop display.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        It's not a laptop. Well, not really. It's an upgrade of the Transformer Prime with a higher resolution screen. I have the current Prime, and the docking station, and it is pretty damn close to a laptop, but there are limitations, largely because Android just wasn't designed with a touchpad in mind. I also think the higher resolution screen is a waste, there's just no justification for that kind of resolution on a 10" screen.

        yes there is. comic book scans.

    • Where can I even get a small 14" or 13" laptop that doesn't come with the next to useless for actual work 1360x768? Do I really need to pay over $3k for the most expensive i7 and other bells and whistles I'll never use to get one?

      Heck, even a sub 24" monitor is near impossible to find with better than 1920x1080.

  • uh oh (Score:5, Funny)

    by forkfail (228161) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:30PM (#39177033)

    They've got rounded corners.

    There will be trouble. And the shame of it is, they could have avoided it if they'd just taken a look at this. [androidpit.com]

  • fixed the title (Score:3, Insightful)

    by noh8rz2 (2538714) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:34PM (#39177107)
    Asus PadFone Combines Smartphone, Tablet, Keyboard; compromises on every aspect, does nothing well.
  • Dilbert (Score:5, Funny)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:36PM (#39177125) Homepage
    From just four days ago [dilbert.com].
    • by nschubach (922175)

      True Slashdotters link to the Fast [dilbert.com] version ;)

    • Except Archos calls its Archos 43 a '4.3" Internet tablet', and I've read some comments on Slashdot that use the term '3.5" tablet' to describe the iPod touch. Some of this confusion may have begun when Palm stopped making PDAs, which is what pocket-size tablets used to be called.
    • by rinoid (451982)

      Great minds ... but you beat me by two minutes. I shouldn't have switched tabs while the dang pre-flight on submission was spinning.

      I concur. Nothing larger than the current iPhone for me thank you.

      6'2" 185lbs.

  • by QuatermassX (808146) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:36PM (#39177135) Homepage

    I wept with laughter at this bonkers trade show intro - really, I actually wept over my grande Americano at the Starbucks near Holborn tube on a sunny Saturday morning this summer.

    Padphone, eh? The only thing this chap didn't do is actually jump over a shark. Poor bastard.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sqjoRMHyYQc

  • Tablets (Score:4, Insightful)

    by omganton (2554342) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:52PM (#39177323)
    I have never understood the tablet crazy. I have never once felt the need for another portable device beyond my phone and laptop. I used to have an MP3 player as well, but my phone does that now too. I can remote into my desktop at home with my phone or laptop, both can check my work and personal email, I can take notes and create presentations with my laptop, I can play games on both devices... My laptop is already portable, and in the few instances where it's inconvenient, I don't see how a tablet would be any less inconvenient. Maybe it's just me, but if you have a decent phone and a decent laptop, a tablet is just a waste of money, especially considering the fact that any tablet you're going to buy has the same operating system as your phone. /opinion
    • I have never once felt the need for another portable device beyond my phone and laptop.

      Not even between when smartphones became available and when data plans became affordable?

      I used to have an MP3 player as well, but my phone does that now too.

      If I were to consolidate my PDA/MP3 player/4" tablet into my phone, my carrier would charge me an extra $28 per month.

      • Sounds like you need a new carrier. Either that or you could just buy an unlocked phone and not tell them about it.
        • Sounds like you need a new carrier.

          Yeah, Virgin Mobile USA charges $7/mo for its cheapest "payLo" (dumbphone) plan but $35/mo for its cheapest "Beyond Talk" (smartphone) plan, and payLo top-ups don't work on smartphones.

          Either that or you could just buy an unlocked phone and not tell them about it.

          For one thing, unlocked phones are GSM, meaning they won't work with CDMA2000 MVNOs like Virgin. For another, I've read horror stories on Slashdot about U.S. cell phone carriers slamming [wikipedia.org] customers onto higher-priced plans after discovering that a SIM has been used in a smartphone. Is it true that T-Mobile is the only U.S. pre

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I travel with a Laptop an iPad and a phone. I thought the same as you would. But the iPad has replaced many things I used to travel with such as books and the need for printing things to review as well as entertainment. Waiting at a stopover, bring out tablet. The tablet is more for consuming output than work and play than for creating it. It is also now the primary way I communicate with family when travelling (Skype/Facetime). It weighs the same as the book I would normally carry to reading on a long fli

      • by itsme1234 (199680)

        Funny thing actually with this ipad craze: I've had during the last week TWICE people telling me ON THE PHONE "you know, I have skype on my ipad let's use that". The call was anyway on company phone and even then probably free/included in the plan/minutes.
        Apart from the fact that they didn't want to actually use the phone (which after all is designed for calls) the funny part is that marketing is sometimes strange: I haven't heard people using skype with iphones (or even with windows mobile 2003, although I

        • by Rakishi (759894)

          ...woosh. That's the sound of the parent's post and what the people you were talking to were saying flying way way over your head.

          When they say Skype, they mean Skype for VIDEO chat. Get it now?

          Then again you're apparently the sort of person who ridicules others instead of wondering why they're saying something so I doubt there's much point in writing this post.

        • and even then probably free/included in the plan/minutes.

          Playing a bit grammar nazi here...but that piece could have benefited of curly brackets, i.e: "and even then probably free/{included in the plan}/minutes." Those make it easier to realize where the slash options begin and end.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think maybe you can't see the value of tablets because you're using the Apple definition of "tablet", ie. 9.7" or greater (Steve Jobs proclaimed to the Apple faithful that the idea of a 7" tablet was stupid). So you're right, a tablet of Apple's "approved size" can be quite superfluous if you have a laptop, because both the iPad and your laptop are merely "transportable", not mobile devices. Your cellphone is a mobile device, the other two are not.

      But that size thing was pure Apple marketing BS. A 7" t

    • I own a Nokia N900 3.5" smartphone, a cheap $80 Chinese knockoff 7" tablet that's basically the equivalent of a Nook, and an Asus 12" netbook, and I can tell you that the 7" tablet definitely comes in handy for many situations.

      • It's just the right size to fit into your pants' pocket (if you prefer pants with large pockets like most geeks that I know tend to).
      • The screen size makes reading eBooks much more enjoyable than on a phone, and you can carry it around in your hand without having it being awkward l
    • Haven't picked up a tablet yet; but when the time comes, I'll probably replace my N1 with a tablet as opposed to another phone. Why?

      Well, I'd really like to be able to type up documents on the N1, only there is no keyboard to do so, and the screen size just doesn't work well for it. A tablet would be just about right to do so; however, a physical keyboard would still be a must as the virtual keyboards simply have no tactile feed back to aid with knowing where you are on the keyboard by simple touch. Tabl
  • I knew it wouldn't take long to make a netbook into a table with detachable keyboard base. Although I'm all for this new technology, so long as it doesn't cost more than a regular laptop which can do more. Personally, I like using my HP Touchpad with dock as my bed side Alarm Clock.
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      I have one of their eeepad transformers, I got it because my eeePC 701 was getting a little long in the tooth. The hinged dock has an extra battery so combined you can get around 9 hours of life off it, better than any laptop I have ever owned. The only problem I have is some websites see android as the user agent and "helpfully" switch over to mobile view, which is not needed on a 10" screen
      • by Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) on Monday February 27, 2012 @05:49PM (#39178077)
        In the application settings for the stock Android browser and several other android browsers (firefox and opera come to mind), you can change the user agent string to use a desktop browser string, and all websites then show up in their full "normal desktop" glory. I had this exact same problem on my transformer. Once I changed that setting and I've not had a problem since. Just thought I'd let you know. In the stock browser, its under advanced settings IIRC.
  • by jones_supa (887896) on Monday February 27, 2012 @04:55PM (#39177359)

    Isn't the PadFone a step towards the reality people have been heralding here: tomorrow we will be using just a phone which at home or workplace attachs to a bigger display and peripherals...

  • THis is nothing more than taking Motorola's idea one step further.
  • PadFone had the best product unveling ever. Can't get over it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2ANnpHnUrc [youtube.com]
  • by recrudescence (1383489) on Monday February 27, 2012 @05:41PM (#39177991)
    I can't believe it took them 3 years to copy alwaysinnovating.com 's smartbook technology!
    It only took them 2 year to copy the transformer!

    Anyway, I hope they rip off their pocket projector next. Alwaysinnovating has stopped selling products independently - I missed my chance to buy :(
  • I do like the idea of having all you computing needs with you at all times.

    When on the road (or docked with just the tablet) the interface is "finger friendly" and when docked then it is keyboard + mouse oriented. I don't think the padfone is there yet, but maybe android can be both sometime soon...

    I think (and as a linux user it pains me to say this) windows 8 is the only one on track to offer this experience, with classic desktop running in parallel with the metro interface. Once phones have enough
  • 1920x1200 laptop? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sunfly (1248694) on Monday February 27, 2012 @06:31PM (#39178653)
    Just tell me where I can find a decent 17" laptop with at least 1920x1200 display under $1200? I have been repairing an old Dell for years now with ebay parts because I have not found a suitable replacement. Sad that my phone and tablet may soon pass my laptop in dpi.
    • by Menkhaf (627996)

      You might want to have a look for Compal laptops. I've got a NBLB3, sporting a 15,3" 1920x1080 display. Bought it a year and a half ago. Core i5 2.4 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, eSata, LED backlight.
      There are a few things that could've been better (weird keyboard mapping -- the Return key sends a KP_Enter), and it's got a bit of a plastic-y feel to it, but it works great, and I bought it for what amounts to less than 1200 USD.

  • Funny how ASUS "invents" these things a few years after someone else gets them on to the market (but without the big publicity)

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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