A new Android hybrid phone & tablet
This year in June we were presented for the first time with Asus prototype of a tab including an Android-based smartphone that they named Padfone. It all happened during an even called Computex which took place in Taipei. The phone is able to become a tablet which features a touchscreen dock. The company hopes to aid people enjoy both pad and smartphone at the same time without buying two distinct things. Internet access is shared between the 2 devices which seems to sport the best in terms of hardware. We wanted to see if the gadget was really that efficient, so we tested it. Below you’ll find our impressions before a real review.
Interesting external design
We were lucky enough to see one of the prototypes, because the actual Asus Padfone will be officially released early next year. The phone is very good-looking, as is the tablet. The set is therefore made of a smartphone which offers a screen measuring 4.3″ and a tab with 10.1″. The former sits on the backside of the latter and we noticed, during our tests, that it was extremely compact. Text and icons were easy to read on both the gadgets, the menus were also user-friendly and worked fast when we navigated through them to open various settings and features. When we looked at the two in broad daylight we could look at the screens with perfect ease, as they feature the antiglare technology.
Ice Cream Sandwich OS
As far as we’ve seen, the product runs on Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android as the company itself confirmed in June. This version wade to run with both traditional tablets and smartphones and it has a good performance on the Asus Padfone.
In the multimedia department, this tablet and smartphone come with features that span the likes of high-end GPS module, 3.5mm music jack (with support for codecs such as AC+, DivX, FLAC and many more), music, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and others. We had no trouble listening to favorite songs, watching movies with friends and look for something on the Internet. Not to mention that the setup doesn’t need to be rebooted to get into the tablet mode, because Asus has implemented a seamless transition between displaying the tablet and the smartphone.
1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core
Another feature of Padfone is a 5MP which has a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels preinstalled with autofocus; these made the photos we took shine with good quality, as colors looked natural and beautiful, there were plenty of details and clarity was also good. The performance remained the same when we snapped pictures both inside and outside under several types of lighting. What didn’t work as it should have was when we tried to zoom in: image deteriorated visibly. A second camera boasts the advantage of 3D video calling.
The keyboard of Padfone was based on Swype and therefore typing was one of the best experiences on a smartphone ever. The memory can hold 32GB.
The processor is a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2. Speeds were good during our review, so nothing here to complain about.
The gadget could store almost unlimited text messages, call log entries and simple entries.
The Li-ion battery delivered what we thought to be plenty of life, since the Padfone resisted a day without charging it after only several hours of use, as did other devices in the past. Call quality wasn’t impressive overall, but we were still able to hear our friends well over the phone.
After the test performed with this new gadget we have a conclusion of this review. The Asus Padfone looks like something anyone should try once in a while.
|Dimensions||10.1-inch For Tablet|
|Form Factor||Candybar Touch Tablet|
|Type||Capacitive Touch Screen|
|2G Network||GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz|
|L x B x H||–|
|Available Colours & Definition||–|
|Input/ User Interface||Multi Touch|
|Screen||4.3-inch for Phone|
|Light-Light sensor (Ambient)|
|Accelerometer Light sensor for UI auto-rotate|
|Available Operating Systems||Android 3.4 Ice Cream Sandwich|
|Data storage Capacity|
|Expandable Memory||Micro-SD card support for memory expansion up to 32GB|
|Internet Browser & Messaging||Flash, HTML|
|MMS, SMS, IM, Email, RSS|
|Still||– 5 Megapixels|
|– 2592×1944 pixels|
|Secondary camera||Not included|
|Bluetooth||v2.1 with EDR Stereo|
|Headset||3.5mm stereo headset jack|
|Radio||FM radio (76-108MHz) with RDS|
|USB||v2.0 Micro USB|
|3G||HSDPA – Up to 7.2 Mbps|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|Audio files compatibility||MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+|
|Video Formats||H.263, H.264, MPEG4|
|Battery type||Li-Ion Standard Battery|
|Estimated talk time||–|
|Included Features||Google maps|
|Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Picasa|
|Android Market, G-mail, Google Maps, G-Talk|
|Adobe Flash player compatibility|