There were rumours last year about ASUS releasing a strange, form-changing phone-come-tablet. Those rumours are now reality; say hello to the Padfone, the latest in a rash of schizophrenic mobile handsets.
So, uh, it's basically a smartphone that docks inside, and powers, a tablet. Let's take things in turn.
First off, the phone itself has a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD display, Snapdragon's new dual-core S4 chip, an Adreno 225 GPU, Ice Cream Sandwich and an 8-megapixel rear camera with an LED flash and f/2.2, autofocusing lens. It's also got 16-64GB of storage and HDMI out. So far, so good.
Then, the odd bit. This thing slips neatly into an optional screen unit that effectively allows you to use it as if it were a 10.1-inch tablet. With that obviously comes a jump in battery life, and the option of using an — again optional — full-size keyboard. Oh, or a stylus. Which doubles as a headset. I know, I know: too much. Either this is the future, or ASUS has gone a step too far.
It's scheduled to ship in April, and will probably make some indecisive people very, very happy. [Engadget]