ASUS has been talking about the Padphone for just about one year now and thanks to a couple online retailers, the new phone-tablet will be available to the United States. The Padphone was first made official at Computex and it was demoed as a phone that you could dock inside a tablet, meaning the smartphone would be powering the tablet computer. The tablet will not work without the phone docked inside of it, so essentially the tablet just gives your phone a larger screen. The device seems a little futuristic and the sales numbers were not all that great, but it did come with Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system so that was a plus.
Before this week, the phone-tablet was not available to customers in the United States. Now, some online retailers have picked up the unit and the pricing is what might shock most of the customers. According to online sources, the 16GB model will sell online for $859.50, while the 32GB and the 64GB models will sell for about $100 to $200 more, respectively. Not that the device is lacking great specs or anything but the price seems to be consistent with buying a tablet and a smartphone, but really you are only getting a smartphone with an additional screen.
The Ice Cream Sandwich powered smartphone comes with a 4.3-inch 540×960 touch screen display and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. Only the back side you will find an 8MP camera along with a smaller, VGA web cam on the front for video calling. The battery is listed at 1,520mAh and should give you around 6-7 hours of talk time. The tablet ships with the smartphone and comes with a 10.1-inch display that has a 1280×800 pixel resolution, plus a 1.3MP web cam on the front for video calling, etc. When the Padphone first launched it was not compatible with any of the 3G networks in the United States, but since the news from this week that has changed.
The ASUS Padphone that you can buy online is unlocked and can be used on any mobile carrier here in the states. There are other phone-tablet like gadgets on the market like the ASUS Eee Pad MeMO 3D which offers a 1280×800 glasses free 3D display and is running on the Honeycomb version of the Android operating system.