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Unboxed: Asus Padfone first impressions

We bought a little souvenir from our trip to Taiwan last week. It was something we were hoping would eventually be released in the Philippines but turns out isn’t really coming at all. Check out our unboxing photos and first impressions of the Asus Padfone after the break.

The Asus Padfone is one of its kind — it’s a powerful 4.3-inch smartphone that transforms into a 10.1-inch tablet.

This little trick is achieved by creating a shell tablet that houses the handset. Information is then projected from the phone to the tablet via micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports. You can think of shell tablet as some sort of secondary display that mirrors the screen of the phone. It’s a pretty neat trick actually.

While the handset itself is pretty thin, the enclosure of the tablet is a bit thick (thicker than the 1st-gen Asus Transformer) and feels heavy on one hand. From the short experience that I had, it’s going to be a challenge using this tablet on prolonged periods of time.

Aside from the tablet itself, there’s also the optional keyboard dock with extended battery. So, there’s actually 3 separate devices here — the Padfone, the shell tablet and the keyboard dock. Each of the devices have their own separate battery and allows for one to charge the other when completely docked (i.e., keyboard will charge the tablet and the tablet charges the Padfone but not the other way around).

The tablet also comes with a Bluetooth stylus pen. You use the stylus for the multi-touch screen and it also doubles as a Bluetooth headset. Though looking somewhat awkward, it’s actually a clever way to use the Padfone’s cellular functions when it’s docked into the tablet.

The configuration of the Padfone is pretty good, especially the performance of the SnapDragon S4. It comes with ICS out of the box as well so the UI adopts when on the tablet-mode or the phone-mode.

Asus Padfone specs:
4.3″ Super AMOLED display @ 540×960 pixels
Qualcomm MSM 8960 Snapdragon S4 Krait 1.5GHz dual-core
Adreno 225 GPU
16GB, 32GB and 64GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
HSPA+ 42Mbps
8MP autofocus camera
GPS w/ aGPS support
1520mAh Li-Ion battery
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

We were told that the Padfone might not be released in the Philippines so we’re lucky to have bought one in Taiwan (that makes us one of the few handful folks who has it in the country). Based on our estimate currency conversions, the Padfone sells for around Php25k in Taiwan, goes up to Php32k with the tablet and stylus, then right up to about Php40k with the tablet, stylus and keyboard dock.

Check out the gallery below to fully appreciate the Padfone’s multi-function mode.

[fancygallery ID=”padfone”]

Stay tuned as we post the full review in a week or two.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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26 Responses

  1. Asusmaryosep says:

    Initially, I was impressed. But when I saw the photo of the tab with the protruding housing for the phone, it just became the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.

  2. Christian says:

    The tablet together with the Padfone looks great!

    Does the tablet uses the Padfone’s rear camera when they’re combined? Looooks awesome!

  3. Christian says:

    The tablet together with the Padfone for me looks great!

    Does the tablet uses the Padfone’s rear camera when they’re combined? Looooks awesome!

  4. Dan_MD says:

    A niche device that would no doubt have humble sales. The concept is a good one but I would still go for a separate tablet and phone especially when the cost of getting separate devices is already comparable to what you spend for the Asus phone/tab hybrid.
    As a personal bias, my phone of choice is an Android one and my tablet of choice is an iPad.

    • 2i says:

      similar spec android phone = S3 = PhP 30k
      lowest end ipad = PhP 18k
      low end netbook = PhP 15k

      padfone with both docks = PhP 40k

      i don’t see how PhP 40k and PhP 63k are comparable.
      unless they are just like comparing 4 and 6 pesos to you. :D

    • NeutralGuy says:

      The truth is, I agree with Dan_MD

      Smartphone with same specs: Galaxy S2, not s3, s3 has quadcore processor: at most Php25K

      Ipad 2: Php19K

      and last but not the least,

      Keyboard for iPad, not a net book. YOu can’t compare netbook with the keyboard dock alone of the Padfone: Php2K to Php5K

      That’s what you call, COMPARABLE.

    • Name: says:

      the Snapdragon S4 Krait cpu on the Padfone is not like the Exynos on the SGS2, the S4 is comparable to the Tegra 3 and the Exynos Quad in performance so saying that the Padfone is like the SGS2 is dumb

  5. yven says:

    Sir abe, the complete set that you have, is it on sale?

  6. roiji says:

    i’ll be getting the whole package as a Christmas gift to myself.

    i <3 Asus

  7. joeyoliver says:

    Very solid phone! It beats the oneX and S3 in benchmarks.

    Here’s my review of the phone.


    • haha! says:

      Hahaha! Yan din naisip ko. From Transformers to Voltes V. haha! Parang challenge ito sa Samsung. Baka makita natin yung Galaxy S pwedeng ikabit sa Samsung refrigerators or washing machines. hehe.

  8. Cielo says:

    Will wait for the Padfone 2. :)

  9. Edster says:

    Hi Abe – were you able to make it work for either globe or smart despite purchased from Taiwan?

  10. CarlBytes says:

    This is a good combo. If they will lower the price or an option for Windows.

  11. Terry Q says:

    The ASUS Padfone is finally shipping in the UK from http://www.mobi-city.co.uk if anyone is looking to purchase one.

  12. Chris says:

    Cool concept. Just wondering, does the tablet work even without the phone docked inside? Or..the tablet’s powered by the phone?

  13. Pan Cit says:

    I emailed ASUSTek and their representative said that PadFone will not be released on Philippine market. :(

  14. masyong says:

    am not so techy but i like the Padfone….
    will the fone work with globe and smart? also, the pad can work stand alone right?

    …. thinking of getting one through our relatives…. thank you for the review

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