ASUS unveils the Padfone -- a tablet/phone hybrid

While the U.S. is in holiday mode today, the rest of the world isn't taking the day off. And for manufacturer ASUS, today's a big one, with the announcement of the Padfone at the Computex conferencfe. One part Android phone, another part Android tablet, the Padfone docks inside the tablet itself. One phone, one tablet, one set of data -- no syncing. An interesting concept, indeed, from the manufacturer of the excellent EeePad Transformer tablet/keyboard combo. (Read our full review.)

Details are still a little light, being as this is far from a finished product, but you're looking at a 4.3-inch smartphone that powers the 10-inch tablet -- the larger won't work without the smaller. Should be an interesting little marriage. Check out the official videos after the break.

Source: ASUS (opens in new tab); More: Engadget

Phil Nickinson
  • Photoshop fail. IE9 in Android? Dream on.
  • fail on your part because its IE8 not 9.
  • Are you sure you don't mean "GIMP fail"? Or perhaps "Corel Paint fail?". Hint: "Photo edit fail".
  • are you really going to spam every single article with this? Get over it, it's a common figure of speech not unlike "Xerox it".
  • He secretly works for Adobe and is trying to stop people like Skullnbones from giving his company and Photoshop a bad rep.
  • What are you a failed graphics designer? So you know there's more than one application out there, good job. P.S. Welcome to the internet, we have a thing here called "internet lingo" Maybe you should try to google it. Hang on, there's a website for that!
  • This just in!
  • seriously? does it really matter what an unfinished product is displaying on its screen?? -__-
  • no it doesn't matter whats on the screen... people can't get past the fact that this is a proof of concept and most likely will be awaiting ICS(Ice Cream Sandwich). Meaning they threw this video together quickly to show at a conference... I would assume this wont be out until 2012.
  • seriously? second video 1:36 IE on our android tablet?
  • Who cares about the fake screens on the Padfone? if you did a litte reading on the tech blogs you would know that this isnt a finished product, and from all that i have seen with press shots and blogs, there wasnt a real working one there. all in all this could potentially be the greatest thing to hit Christmas in a long time.
  • Gay
  • I see this type of product as the worst of both worlds instead of the best of both worlds. It would probably still cost as much as a phone AND a tablet. Would weigh more than a tablet. Probably less battery than a tablet. Still thinking about it, though....
  • I would be quite surprised if they asked $1000 for this; I'm thinking it'll hit in the $700 range. But it will let people use the same data plan for a phone and a tablet without tethering, so it has the potential to be very attractive to a particular market. I'm pretty curious about weight and battery as well; I'm hoping they can keep the weight to Transformer/iPad 1 levels.
  • yeah....if the tablet relies on the phones battery for power, I'd call this thing do a even in its proof of concept.. However it might get my attn if it manages to keep the tab batt seperate and manage to charge the phone from it when docked. I tend to look at this type of device as being yet another "one off" that will receive minimal support and serve to fragment our ecosystem even further....Kyocera anyone
  • Given that one of the scenes of the advert is his phone running out of battery and him adding it to the tablet to keep going with the movie (and the women), the implication is that the pad has a separate battery that will run the phone!
  • Given that one of the scenes of the advert is his phone running out of battery and him adding it to the tablet to keep going with the movie (and the women), the implication is that the pad has a separate battery that will run the phone!
  • Now you know that means nothing. Just as much nothing as running IE on the tablet. And you know the tablet is designed to use the phone as the CPU/memory/storage, so it couldn't run anyway.
  • If the phone is 200 on contract and the pad is 150-200, it could be a deal.
  • I can't imagine this being a Honeycomb device...not if phone & tab are "one in the same". Froyo? Gingerbread? Ice Cream?
  • i guess you didnt see the news the other day that honeycomb has the gingerbread display interface beneath it.... so this would make sense that when they phone is docked it changes from gingerbread display to honeycomb...
  • right and also the padfone will most likely ship with ICS which is for both tablets and phones
  • I guess you didn't see the news, but there will be no honeycomb phones at all. Just ask Andy Rubin.
  • I remember reading that changing the LCD density on a rooted Honeycomb device turns Honeycomb into Gingerbread after reboot...; If the goal for ice cream is to end fragmentation, then that makes sense for this device. I swear they come out with these "toys" so fast it's hard to keep up...haha!
  • this may not be the greatest idea but it is a good idea. its like the atrix but better :)
  • and also it apears that they are advertizing the padfone (pad and phone) as a whole. maybe they will sell them both in one box? $400-450? just a thought :)
  • I think this is a great concept. Especially when Ice Cream comes out. Both phones and tablets will run the same OS so might as well make them integrated with each other.
  • Yeah dude that is a really good thought
  • I think the concept is a little silly. The biggest reason I have not purchased a tablet is because I have an Evo with a honking 4.3" screen. If you're going to have two devices integrate like this Asus thing, I think it should be an ultra portable phone. 3.2" screen Max, very thin and small. Think HP Veer type of thing. Then when the user needs more screen space, plug it in to the London 10" screen tablet and vroom. Just seems silly to me where one device is meant for portability and the other is meant for large viewing, but they gave the portable one a huge screen.
  • The idea isn't exactly a "portable to static" concept. Its "Phone to Tablet"... The larger screen size for a phone is more appealing to a wider range of customers than the tiny screen of your example (HP Veer). In the very beginning, they were talking about how small screens strain your eyes and people would be going for tablets more because of that, so having a tiny screen that hurts your eyes isn't something they were ever going to consider. PLUS, with a "bigger phone" it gives you a bigger battery to power the device. And although yes it is an unfinished device, i do not think they would have put such an emphasis on the phone being inserted into the tablet once the "battery low" warning flashed. To think it had nothing to do with the insertion into the tablet is rather idiotic. Its a marketing commercial type video, so you have to look into the tiny things to figure out what they are wanting to intend with their device. Having it flash "Low Battery" and then being inserted into the tablet means that they INTENDED for the phone and tablet to work in such a way that it could charge the phone. Why else have it in there? why would you want to advertise something like "oh hey, the battery died, lets plug it into a device that will DRAIN IT MORE!"????? that thought, seems pretty stupid to me.. So them advertising the low battery means they are wanting to include a battery inside the tablet as well..
  • Tablet makers, why do you insist on throwing "pad" into every product name you come up with? The ipad has a goofy name, and when you try to ride it's thunder, you just look goofier.
  • I just got the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. But I also kind of want this because of the variability and functionality it has. I will definitely be watchingfor this device. After seeing all that Asus has done, I really like their products now
  • Ever since Motorola announced the Atrix, I was hoping someone would come up with a version that also has a tablet dock. Ideally I could have one phone that powered my desktop, tablet, and laptop, none of this syncing between multiple devices.
  • What carrier, and honestly I'd have preferred a smaller phone going into a 7".
  • Watch sprint and t-mobile get this before anyone else does. If it comes to verizon I may consider it.
  • I'm going to wait for the Padfone Transformer, the combination of the Padfone and the Transformer, where the phone goes into the tablet which goes into the keyboard dock. I'm sure ASUS is working on this but won't release it until both the Transformer and the Padfone have run their course.
  • Padfone Transformer + Project Kal-el = Winning Trust me, I double checked the math.
  • I will give you all a hint on how you can have IE8 running on a tablet. It is called Remote Desktop.
  • This is so unnecessary...
  • charging the same customer twice for the same data on separate devices is unnecessary, this is brilliant!
  • I sense this is the phone pedo bear was was waiting for...
  • This is definitely an interesting device or interesting devices? I think this could turn out to be a good thing with only having to use one service, but it could also go the other way and be a drain on battery life. We all know how the battery life can be on most android phones and for this tablet to have to rely on the phone could turn ugly for some. These are just my thoughts though. I'm a little bit crazy sometimes. Wait! Did you guys hear that? Listen!
  • I think Asus leaked what is to come in Ice Cream Sandwich!!! Think of this... Remember article about Think about it. You run around with your phone that has "gingerbread" style layout. Slap that sucker in to your "psudo-tablet-screen" and BAAMMM!, you're rocking "honeycomb". 1.2Ghz Dual-core phone: $600 + Tablet screen: $150 = $750 (alone = +/- cost of iPad 2 3G 32GB or Xoom LTE) Genius idea!
  • This is brilliant!
  • They said "3G" in the video.
    Are they really coming out with anything in the second part of 2011 that doesn't have 4G capability? That's good for about a year.
  • Until Verizon gets their network at full speed in multiple markets most of their devices will still be 3G... as for other carriers? Sprint and T-Mobile of course would use their respective flavor of 4G but AT&T would be too hard to call, though HSPA+ for them couldn't be ruled out.
  • Asus can build it so that the tablet shares the phone's data connection, but the carriers will either require a tethering plan or cap the phone's data plan to so many GBs.
  • Cant look at the badly shopped video (IE on android) and consider it to be final produce.
    All the leg work will be done by the phone.
    The unit is most likely a screen with cameras, speakers, and microphones. There's should also be a huge battery.