ASUS has a habit of making convergence device and the PadFone series is one fine example. It offers both a phone and a tablet in a seamless solution. The original PadFone stood out 2 years ago with a phone that docks into a tablet, which then can be docked onto a keyboard for productivity use. The only problem was its hefty price tag which commanded as high as RM2,799.
Proving that performance can be delivered at an affordable price with the ZenFone series, there’s a lot to look forward to with the upcoming PadFone S and it will be here in Malaysia in the coming weeks. In fact, this is probably the most affordable Quad-Core Snapdragon 801 powered smart phone that you can buy for under RM1,000.
The PadFone S phone itself is quite a high-end device. It features a 5″ Full HD display (1920×1080) and it runs on a 2.3GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AB) processor which also powers the Xperia Z2 and Oppo Find 7a. It also gets 2GB of RAM (DDR3) and 16GB of on-board storage that can be expanded with microSD.
In the imaging department, the PadFone S has a 13MP f/2.0 camera with PixelMaster technology while selfie shots are taken by its front 2MP camera. There’s support for WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and Cat4 4G LTE supporting our local 1800MHz/2600MHz bands. On-board it runs on the latest Android 4.4 KitKat with ZenUI and it is juiced up by a modest 2,300mAh non-removable battery.
For the PadFone S itself, it will be priced at only RM899, which is quite competitive against than the Xiaomi Mi 3. For an extra RM131, the PadFone S offers a newer processor (Snapdragon 801 versus Snapdragon 800), 4G LTE connectivity and an expandable microSD slot but it loses out when it comes to battery.
To extend your experience to a bigger screen, the PadStation tablet will be sold separately for RM499. It gets a 9″ WUXGA display (1920×1200), 1MP front camera and a 4,990mAh capacity battery. Being a convergence device, you can charge your PadFone S at anytime by slotting the phone into the PadStation for immediate charging. From our experience with previous PadFone, the switch between phone and tablet mode is pretty instant and you can resume session for most apps immediately in just a few seconds.
With a combined price of RM1,398, the PadFone S is half the price of its previous generation. That’s even cheaper than most 3G tablets including the iPad mini with cellular data. It is also a great alternative for those preferring to own a tablet and a phone, instead of a single compact tablet as their daily device. The benefit of owning a PadFone is the use of a single SIM card or data plan which normally you would need to get a second SIM if you use a separate 3G tablet. Regardless of which mode you’re on, you’ll get access to the same session, apps and files with the PadFone S. Obviously the PadFone Station would not work standalone since the processor and storage is on the phone itself.
When it comes out in Malaysia, ASUS will be offering the black colour version first, while the white colour unit will be released later.
For more information, check out ASUS PadFone S product page.