The ASUS PadFone is one of the weirdest devices I’ve ever seen running Android. It’s a phone. But it has a tablet dock that you put the phone into to turn it into a fully functional 10.1″ tablet. And there is another keyboard dock that you dock the tablet dock into to make it into a netbook-like device, similar to the Transformer series.
After over a year, and helped by the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich (melding the tablet and phone UI into one piece of software), the ASUS PadFone is finally in production. This video from NetbookNews shows the unboxing of all three devices. Along with the phone and two docks, included was a nifty little stylus that doubles as a Bluetooth headset. You can hold it up to your face to take calls.
This is an incredibly intriguing device. It combines a phone, a tablet, and to an extent a laptop into one device. You have to carry around the docks, but all of your data is in one place. Ice Cream Sandwich really helps, since the phone UI turns into a tablet UI as soon as you put the phone in the tablet dock. I think this is what Google envisioned when they merged Honeycomb and Gingerbread with the redone UI. This is a really cool device. If you’re worried about limited storage shared across 3 devices, don’t be. The ASUS PadFone has a MicroSD card slot in the phone, and a full size SD slot in the keyboard dock.
Unfortunately, I suspect that the US will not be getting the PadFone. In the US, carriers have a lot more power than they should. And the PadFone is definitely a huge threat to carrier tablet sales. This phone requires a data plan, but in extension you get both a phone and a tablet with one data plan. It wouldn’t sit too well with the likes of AT&T and Verizon, who are pushing tablet sales on separate expensive data plans like there’s no tomorrow.
What do you guys think? Would you get one of these if they came out in the US? Does the qHD display drive you away, or is it worth it? And do you think it’ll ever come to the US with our oppressive carriers. Tell us in the comments!
Source: Netbook News