There have been many iterations of the ASUS Padfone released in Europe. We never got the device here in the US for whatever reason, but it was quite unfortunate. I love the concept of having one device do it all, with no need to sync data across the devices. The Padfone is one device that doubles as a full size tablet, holding all the data from your smartphone. Simply slide the smartphone into the tablet “dock,” and the smartphone powers the larger screen and adapts to the tablet UI. Of course, this limits the usefulness of the device to that of a “family tablet” (or a tablet for a very trusting individual), but that’s a tradeoff of on an all-in-one device.
My theory was that US carriers hated the idea of customers buying a tablet dock that had a mobile data connection (from the phone) without paying for tethering or a separate tablet plan. Carriers have been pushing LTE-powered tablets for quite a while now. But that changed, as AT&T of all carriers has announced that it will be carrying the newest device from ASUS, the Padfone X.
The Padfone X smartphone will feature a 5-inch 1080p display, which is standard fare by now, along with Android 4.4 KitKat. It is rumored to have a Snapdragon 800 inside, but no official info is available. The tablet dock that the smartphone slides into features a 9-inch “full HD” display (probably 1080p as well) and dual front-facing speakers, which is an awesome feature more tablets should have.
The device also has a new network feature that AT&T doesn’t even support yet. There is voice over LTE on the Padfone X, so whenever AT&T launches that service, this device will be able to use it.
Once again, there is no mention of price or release date, though we should be used to that by now. But it’s exciting to see the Padfone line finally come to the US after all this time. Hopefully it’ll spur some competition, because I’d love a smartphone that can also power a tablet display.
Update: ASUS has released more specifications for this device. It will be running the “latest Qualcomm Snapdragon” processor, will launch with Android 4.4, and will feature a 2,300 mAh battery in the phone and an additional 4,990 mAh battery in the tablet dock. The 5-inch display has a 1920×1080 resolution, while the 9-inch tablet display has a 1920×1200 resolution.