Asus Padfone: Stroke of Genius?

It’s been a while since my last blog post, and there are two reasons for that. One: I’ve been busy working and two: I’ve been neglecting the blog in what spare time I have had. But enough excuses, on to content new!

While away in Asia on a business trip I discovered the Asus Padfone series. The basic idea of the Padfone is that it delivers both a smartphone and a tablet experience, but without two set of apps, data etc. In the traditional model you’d have a smartphone and a tablet: Apple fans with their iPhone and iPad, and Android people with their Nexus’s and Galaxy Tabs. Many people have both devices because there are times when only a smartphone will do — out and about, on the town, parties.. when you need your device to fit in a trouser pocket — and there are times when only the larger display a tablet provides will do too. I’m thinking reading the news, playing games, watching movies etc. For this reason many people buy two devices. The issue with two devices (apart from the cost), is that you end up with two lots of everything: two collections of apps, two music libraries, two Facebook clients, two email programs checking the same account, etc.

The two-in-one Padfone

The Asus Padfone aims to solve this problem by making one device –plus an accessory– fulfil both roles. Essentially you are always using the smartphone, but with the choice of using it in ‘phone mode’ –which is exactly the same as any other smartphone, or “tablet mode” where you slot the phone into a slot on the back of a larger ten inch display. So, you have what look like two separate devices but instead of being a tablet the larger one is just a bigger display for the phone to use. A benefit here is that, when you plug it in you get the same home screens, same wallpaper, same icon placement, same data, same apps as when in phone mode, only this time with a bigger, higher-res display.

The Padfone 1 has been out a while and the 2nd generation has just launched, with a third — the Padfone Infiinty– already announced for a mid-2013 release. I have to say I’m tempted by the idea. For me the combination has a kind of Thurderbird 2&4 coolness, where one thing nestles inside another and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I am currently using an Android phone and an Android tablet, and do sometimes get frustrated with the need to clear email and Facebook notifications twice, update the same apps on both devices and so on.

What do you think? Would you be tempted?

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