[MWC 2012] The Asus PadFone is one of the more interesting concepts of this show: PadFone is a smartphone that turns into a tablet, which turns into a laptop. Interestingly, the concept has been thought about before, but Asus is the first company that has an actual implementation that works, at least it works enough to make it worth your time. You will ultimately decide if it is worth your money as well.
Like the Asus Transformer family each “extension” (PadFone Station tablet host, Laptop Dock) comes with its own battery. When inserted in to the PadFone Station, the PadFone gets 5X its original battery life. When the PadFone Station is connected to the keyboard, this adds one more battery to the combined entity. Standby time can go from days to weeks.
The industrial design is nice too: by itself, the PadFone looks like a regular smartphone, and while the PadFone Station is thicker than the iPad or the Galaxy Tab, it remains within an acceptable range for many prospect users. In theory, Asus could make it so future PadFone handsets are compatible with today’s connectors, as long as they respect the basic connection layout of two connectors and one electrical point of contact, all located on the left side of the phone.
The final, and most important element, pricing, remains a bit of a mystery. We don’t really know how much the PadFone station is going to cost, so it’s hard to make any kind of value judgement at this point. Also, buying as a bundle will be cheaper than buying separately. But what we know is that the Transformer Keyboard is priced reasonably, so we are optimistic about the PadFone Station pricing.