Heading into Mobile World Congress, the ASUS Padfone was one of the devices that I was most looking forward to playing with. I loved the ASUS Transformer Prime, so I figured the Padfone could be a hit too. However, what I found in Barcelona did not impress me.
The modular concept of the Padfone is a great idea on paper, but the final product might need a couple of revisions before it finds success. Where the Transformer Prime was sleek and sexy, the Padfone is fat and ugly. I found the Padfone with tablet station and keyboard dock to be extremely heavy, but most of that weight is for the batteries that can boost capacity by 9x.
I kind of see the appeal of expanding your smartphone view to a 10-inch display, but we will have to wait on the final pricing of the tablet station to see how practical that will become. ASUS also touted the benefits of one data plan for two devices, but I don’t know if US carriers would allow that. Back when AT&T released the Motorola Atrix, they charged extra to get mobile data on the lapdock accessory.
Overall, the Padfone will live or die based on how the carriers price the accessories and the mobile data plans. For someone like me that already uses a tablet and smartphone, there is not much desire for the Padfone as it is currently designed. Show me something new like a 13 to 14-inch laptop station for my smartphone, and then maybe I’ll be interested.
Check out the hands-on video of the Padfone below and let us know what you think. What price would you be willing to pay for the Padfone, tablet station, and keyboard dock?