Asus has finished its Mobile World Congress press conference not long ago, and in it the Taiwanese company unveiled two new devices: the FonePad and the PadFone Infinity. So it’s proved once more how much it loves those two words and combining them in any shape or form.
The Asus PadFone Infinity is the successor to the PadFone 2 and embodies the exact same concept. It’s a smartphone that docks into a tablet shell, supposedly offering you the best of both worlds. Or two devices for the price of… well, two devices. More on this in a bit.
First, the specs. The PadFone Infinity comes with a 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen with 441 ppi, a quad-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash and 1080p Full HD video capture, a 2 MP front camera, 64 GB of internal storage, 100 Mbps LTE, 42 Mbps HSPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, and a 2,400 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. And alongside the Alcatel One Touch Idol X that was announced earlier, it’s one of the first non-Nexus devices to ship with the latest version of Android.
The PadFone Infinity’s tablet dock, called PadFone Infinity Station, comes with a 10.1-inch 1,920×1,200 touchscreen and a battery of its own, which can fully top-up the phone’s battery three times on one charge.
The PadFone will cost £799 in the UK. That price includes the tablet dock, but it’s still insanely expensive. It amounts to $1210 or €910 at today’s exchange rates. And that’s the only thing that’s really always been wrong with the PadFone – there’s no value proposition. This isn’t ‘get two devices (almost) for the price of one’ – it’s basically two for the price of two. And then you aren’t actually getting two devices, since the tablet part can’t function on its own, without the phone docked inside it. Once again, Asus has priced a PadFone well into niche territory, and that’s where it will stay.
At the exact opposite end of the pricing spectrum comes the Asus FonePad, an Intel-powered 7-inch tablet that can make phone calls – hence the name. It’s obviously not the only small tablet to come with that capacity. Just yesterday Samsung took the wraps off of its very own Galaxy Note 8.0.
The Asus FonePad will be cheaper, though. And it brings an Intel processor to an Android tablet for the first time. The FonePad has a 7-inch 1,280×800 touchscreen, a 1.2 GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 3 MP rear camera, a 1.2 MP front camera, 16 GB of built-in storage, microSD card support, HSPA+, Wi-Fi, and a 4,270 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The FonePad is made out of metal yet still weighs just 340 grams, and it’s 10.4 mm thick. It will become available in the UK in late Q2 (so probably in June) for £179. Elsewhere, it will be priced at $249 or €219, respectively.
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