back to article Review: Asus PadFone 2 phone-tablet combo

I thought the first Asus PadFone was a jolly good idea the moment I clapped eyes on it. Sadly it never made it to these shores but the PadFone 2 has. In a nutshell, what we have here is an Android smartphone that can be docked into a dumb tablet giving you not only a choice of two screen sizes but also the convenience of one …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    600 squid

    what's not to like? And you have a unique opportunity unavailable to lesser mortals - you can lose both of them at the same time, or only lose a part of the combo. Where's the "me like" button?

    1. LarsG
      Meh

      But it's all in a name...

      Hey guys look at my padphone......

      Nope, just does to have the right ring to it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 600 squid

      For this price you get an engineering and technological solution to a problem that does not exist and a flawed concept that is unlikely to appeal to anyone.

      Go Asus.

      Might be worth buying as a novelty purchase and may have an antique noveltyr value in a few hundred years on a show such as Bargain Hunt 2213.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only thing that concerns me is that docking mechanism, Id much rather it sat mostly inside the actual tablet frame.but with just enough showing to easily pull it out, this could be easily achieved with a slight rubberised lip and wouldn't need to stick out the top in tablet mode. This would certainly help the longevity / robustness of such a device. As for a better screen on the tablet bit I am not worried about that, the charging modes are flexible and it looks like a nice phone. Win-Win

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you use protection on your phone.....

      It'll be in and out of its case more times than you can......

  3. djstardust
    Pint

    Innovation ....

    This is the sort of stuff Apple should be coming out with ...... but then they'd rather you bought an iphone and ipad at twice the price!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Another copy by Asus

      Much like Apple, Asus have brought a more polished and better executed version of someone else's little known idea to the mass market. Add the Trans,former's keyboard to this and you have something suspiciously similar to AlwaysInnovating's offerings from a few years back.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Innovation ....

      'Innovation ....

      This is the sort of stuff Apple should be coming out with ...'

      They haven't, and they haven't for a reason.....

      1. The_Regulator

        Re: Innovation

        Apple haven't invented the padfone yet so to them it actually does not exist. I am certain they will have a general patent on it though in the next year or so.....

    3. Dana W
      FAIL

      Re: Innovation ....

      Apple is not going to do this because its really stupid. and very clumsy.

  4. Afflicted.John
    Stop

    Camera will shoot 13MP in tablet mode

    "When docked to the tablet it will only shoot 5.5Mp stills and 720p video but I can’t see people doing that very often"

    WRONG! Turn the Padfone 2 on it's side and miraculously notice the camera offer 13MP again. That does mean you are holding it in portrait of course. I noticed this odd behaviour when taking photos at a conference and writing up my notes on the PF2.

    1. Al Taylor
      Thumb Up

      Re: Camera will shoot 13MP in tablet mode

      Well spotted that man!

  5. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    Interesting concept. From the same company that produces the transformer stuff that seems like the most interesting tablet to fulfil my needs. Next up, a padphone transformer?

    1. Andy Nugent

      Original PadFone had the keyboard as well (https://www.asus.com/Tablets_Mobile/PadFone/) so you might be in luck.

    2. Jediben
      Happy

      Padfone Transformer

      This. It's a damn shame they didn't have the phone dock at the top edge, and the keyboard dock on the bottom as with the Prime.

      1. Jediben
        Unhappy

        Re: Padfone Transformer

        Of course, they would need to up the tablet quality to that of the Prime too, so the price might brush uncomfortably close to £1000.

  6. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    FAIL

    Fantastic - except...

    1) Cheap and nasty phone resolution

    2) Modified microUSB lead

    Both of those are pretty much show-stoppers for me.

    Fail - because you snatch defeat from the jaws of victory - this has been the only 'driod device i have seen that would tempt me away from Apple.

    1. Andy Nugent

      Re: Fantastic - except...

      1. https://www.asus.com/Tablets_Mobile/PadFone_Infinity

      2. Think you can still use normal MicroUSB.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: Fantastic - except...

      I know I shouldn't feed the trolls but -

      1) 312dpi is, what, 14ppi less than the iphone 5? Oh, THE HUMANITY! Those eyes of yours must be something else to be able to easily differentiate between 312 and 325 ppi.

      2) Modified micro USB (which does work with micro USB, but with a caveat that the connection isn't brilliant if you move the device around) is a problem, but a completely different connection which requires you to buy an adapter to connect to micro USB (which doesn't work brilliantly if you need to move the device around) isn't?

      Hmmm..

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Fantastic - except...

        I think that "cheap and nasty phone resolution" hyperbole might have been aimed at the "station", rather than the phone component.

  7. JDX Gold badge

    Now we just need a phone that plugs into a tablet that plugs into a keyboard dock...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Dave Lawton
    FAIL

    Add on storage

    No add-on storage - useless :(

    Bet it uses a stupid nano SIM as well.

    1. Danny 14

      Re: Add on storage

      such as shame. Out of my league in terms of pricing anyway though.

  9. Sir Crispalot
    Meh

    Shelf life

    The only reservation I have is that my phone tends to be replaced every 18 months - two years. I wouldn't intend to do the same with a tablet and see it as a more long term purchase.

    1. ed2020
      Thumb Up

      Re: Shelf life

      I find it bizarre that somebody has down-voted this post. Even if I wasn't of the same opinion your view seems like a perfectly valid one.

      Have an up-vote to counteract it!

  10. DrXym Silver badge

    Pretty pointless at that price.

    You could buy the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 for close to the same price and the tablet experience & screen would be considerably better. You could also upgrade one or the other as you see fit, or only lose half your investment if one of them is lost, stolen or broken.

    I suppose there are some advantages to having a dockable phone but they only become compelling if the dock costs less money than a standalone tablet or offers something tangible that can't be achieved some other way.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Pretty pointless at that price.

      Then you have to sync content between the two and carry both around with you separately.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Pretty pointless at that price.

        I've never had to sync content between my phone and tablet because stuff like contacts, email etc. is in the cloud in the first place. It syncs itself.

        The main annoyance of 2 devices is that when updates appear in Google Play that I have to download them twice. Not enough reason to inextricably tie them together into one device for me when for the same price I could have two independent ones.

        If it were cheaper, or the dock also threw in a keyboard (a la ASUS Transformer) then it might be more interesting and useful for times when someone wants to hammer out an email or something.

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Pretty pointless at that price.

        As far as having to carry both around, if you're using the "padfone" as a phone as per its design and carrying the "station" around with you as well in case you might use it, that's no different to carrying around a separate phone and tablet.

        As far as syncing, that would depend on whether you wanted to perform the same tasks on both the phone and tablet, i.e. it's down to the individual.

  11. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    I was intrigued by the concept...

    ...until I saw the price. This device can be used as a phone or a tablet, never both at the same time, so it offers less functionality than if you simply bought a phone and a tablet. This is especially true of the recently announced padfone infinity. That you can buy a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 10 and still have hundreds in change before hitting the price of the padfone infinity is a bit ridiculous.

    If this was two thirds of the price of a separate phone+tablet combo it might be compelling, because that would justify the reduced functionality.

  12. Kraggy
    FAIL

    Shame UK getting an already obsolete device as 'new'

    As the first poster noted via his link, this device is already obsolete as far as ASUS is concerned, they're palming off yesterday's tech. as 'new' to UK punters.

    Not good ASUS, not good.

    1. Al Taylor
      Alert

      Re: Shame UK getting an already obsolete device as 'new'

      Not strictly true.

      I understand from Asus that the 1080p Infinity model will be sold alongside the model reviewed here. Apparently the Infinity will cost £799 when it goes on sale. If that is true I'd still go for the standard version if it were my money. Screen resolution aide the two devices are technically very similar.

  13. Tony Paulazzo

    That there is no storage expansion

    Seems an overly consumer hostile move that all tech companies seem happy to follow but I guess the masses don't seem to care - and yea, seems a shame they dropped the keyboard part of the build (offering more battery life, storage expansion etc).

    Also, reading between the lines, you seem to rate the phone much higher than the tablet (plastic shell with noticeable join, not great battery, low res quickly smudged screen), and so you start to wonder at the price, especially If the phones only advantage over the Nexus4 is not overheating.

    1. Danny 14

      samsung disagree. and im glad they do.

  14. Greg Williams

    One thing to remember...

    You are then able to use the mobile data plan from your phone - this alone makes it a hugely appealing device.

    Yes, you could normally just use hotspot from your phone, but this is much more elegant.

    I'm contemplating one just for that reason alone.

  15. taxman
    Paris Hilton

    No Bonking

    An advancement of the HP TouchPad and Pre3 idea?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I read about that device a while ago when phones and tablet were a sensible size. It made sense back then.

    But now phones have increased in size and tablets keep shrinking, what on earth is going on?

    To use a car analogy it's like buying a smaller caravan and a larger car. Eventually you'll end up with a camper van which is a cumbersome compromise.

  17. Shagbag

    PadPhone or Phablet?

    Is this what they call a Phablet or a Fablet?

  18. x2uk

    Somebody kind of did do this already, with the Motorola Atrix - OK, so it was before tablets became all the rage but the idea was similar. It failed, but the laptop part lives on as a way to make a Raspberry Pi laptop - now if you can get hold of the tablet part cheaply once the hype dies down, might be a nice way to make a touchscreen Pi.... hmmm....

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