Asus Padfone, Padfone Station and Stylus – First Look

Ever since the first Transformer was unleashed to an unsuspecting Android community, we’ve been keeping an eye on the innovative releases from Asus. We’ve seen the Eee Pad Slider, the Transformer Prime, and have seen the TF700 in its prototype format at the CES earlier this year. Now, this Asus Padfone first look is another feather in the cap for the Taiwanese PC company as it ramps up its tablet range.

ASUS Padfone

Asus Padfone – the smartphone that transforms into a tablet, which then transforms into a keyboard driven mobile product. No shortage of innovation here.

As part of the Asus Padfone first look, we have an unboxing video, which shows all the gear that comes bundled with both the Padfone and the large screen Padfone station - come back to see this in a few hours.

For those familiar with the delicious family feast consisting of a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed into a turkey, the Asus Padfone does feel a little like a technology turducken. Each added element adds a little more functionality but also obviously pads out (forgive the pun) the Asus Padfone’s dimensions and weight. Here’s the overview segment that we think gets across all the cool things about the Padfone:

As you could see, the Padfone is a pretty stock standard ICS build in a nice Ultrabook/Transformer Prime style case. The more I use the native Android 4 environment on mobiles, the more I like it, and the same applies to the Asus Padfone, which is light, comfortable in the hand and should have enough grunt to run whatever Android apps you throw at it, courtesy of the Snapdragon dual core 1.5GHz processor.

Then we have the Asus Padfone Station, which is the 10.1″ inch screen that comes to life when you insert the Padfone into the cradle in the back. The screen looks just like any other Asus ICS tablet product with the familiar home page graphics and Asus-specific widgets. The trick here is to remember that this isn’t a tablet, it’s just a screen displaying the output from the Padfone, which has all the grunt.

The next trick up the Padfone’s sleeve is to then connect the Padfone Station to the Asus Padfone Dock, which is essentially the keyboard dock that we have come to know and love from Asus. With all the same Android shortcuts as on other Transformer keyboards, a second SD card slot after the Micro-SD slot on the Padfone, and the ability to pump out well-typed messages and documents, you can see that Asus have pulled no punches to take this concept as far as it can, including a stylus that doubles as a bluetooth headset.

The Asus Padfone is a superb example of an idea that could well have stayed in the design and R & D labs. Kudos to Asus for showing just what is possible in the Android environment. Without taking away anything from this concept, one must be wondering what wonderful toys are lurking in their Windows 8 testing room.

Our local contacts have left the Asus Padfone with us for a few more days, so there is an opportunity to test or demonstrate a few more things for you and create more content around your feedback. Let us know what other details you’re interested in and we’ll come up with a few more segments around your comments.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Comments

  1. Reeba George says:

    Hi Richie,
    Had a few questions -
    1) Does this tablet have flash? I need flash, since it is used for my college online lecture videos, which is why I did not get the IPAD.
    2) Can I use this tablet relatively easily in a hospital. I am going to start rotations and would like to download medical apps.
    3) When I dock the padfone inside the station, can I still receive calls?

    • Ritchie says:

      Hi Reeba,
      1) Yes the tablet does have flash but that may change when it gets upgraded to Jelly Bean, as Chrome, which will be the default browser, is introduced. HTML5 is getting widespread acceptance and you should ask if the platform is changing for video distribution.
      2) As long as the apps are available on Google Play, you should have no hassle using it as part of your work process.
      3) Yes, you can still accept calls with it docked.

  2. Rob Fisher says:

    I want to see you fill in half a web form on the phone, then switch to pad, and finish filling in the web form. I want to see that nothing you put in the form gets lost. Or maybe do the same with a text or an email.

    This sort of thing seems to me to be the main advantage of having one device with multiple form factors rather than multiple devices that sync data.

    A worry is, like Benjamin says, that apps close when switching between pad and phone. This would negate the point, somewhat. Maybe do some testing of that and see if you can find some workaround. Any word from ASUS on the problem? Can third party apps add switching support?

  3. Benjamin says:

    Hi
    I would like to know if its true that a lot of the 3rd party apps such as whatsapp close if you put the padfone into its dock (also the background processes so you wont get notifications)…. is that true?

  4. Ron says:

    Great video Richie.

    It is such a great innovation, that the Padfone the brain of this “turducken”. But what about the apps? Does it just stretch most of the apps out? I know the latest Android design guideline wants their apps to “adapt” to different screen sizes. Could you show some of those apps? It’d be very much appreciated.

    I am this close on buying one. And I really have a gut feeling that there would be a quadcore Padfone compatible with the existing tablet. Upgrading only the phone. That would be something, right?

  5. Artu says:

    Nice little look through, I was wondering if you could do a test on the phone (standalone’s) battery life. I’d love to have an idea as to how long it lasts.

  6. arvis says:

    Is it posible to connect external harddrive directli to the padfone?

  7. Harold says:

    Hello Ritchie, I can’t see the video’s……….
    Thanks.

    • Ritchie says:

      Hi Harold, the First Look vid should be up now, unboxing will be up tomorrow, thanks!

      • Dom Cammareri says:

        Awesome Innovation by Asus! Integrated components like this are inevitably the way of the future. Good to see how each of the three main components appear to seamlessly supplement each other. A concept such as this really warrants a Quad-core processor. Would be a lot more functional with an i-3, i-5 or i-7 Intel cpu lol. Internal & external memory? Backing up mobile devices is paramount these days, so please tell me it has a micro USB 3.0??? Another great presentation by Richies Room! 