updated 08:10 am EST, Mon February 27, 2012
Phone brings Snapdragon dual-core processor
ASUS has brought its latest gadgets to Mobile World Congress, including the PadFone smartphone and two docking accessories that can be used to convert the device into a tablet or ultraportable notebook. Electronista had a chance to try out the combination, which aims to compete with Motorola's Lapdock system.
By itself, the PadFone offers a feature set that now fits among the upper tier of midrange Android 4.0 smartphones. The device integrates the latest dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, an AMOLED display with 960x540 resolution, and an eight-megapixel camera.
When inserted into a dock in the back of the Station display, the combination serves as a tablet with extended battery life. We found the tablet experience to be decent, though it does not feel quite as snappy as the latest quad-core tablet hardware.
Users who want to quickly type without using a virtual keyboard can attach the dock keyboard, which converts the entire setup into a small notebook. We were impressed by the flexibility from just one smartphone, compared to other systems that only serve the functionality of two devices.
ASUS has confirmed that the PadFone will arrive sometime in April, however a price tag remains unclear. This remains the big question surrounding the whole system, which could easily negate the practicality if the cost runs too high.