ASUS Padfone as it is


    Every year we have more and more gadgets, and their benefits are becoming less. A stationary or tablet computer, laptop, ultrabook, netbook, smartphone and camera are becoming more and more similar to each other. The functionality is duplicated, the total weight of the devices increases along with the cost. As for smartphones and tablets, the border between them is erased completely. And the phone with a diagonal of 5 "does not cause shock, because many things on the big screen are more convenient to do.

    However, a large screen is not always a blessing. Have you tried to put a “shovel” to your head to answer a call? And put the tablet in your jeans pocket? It is better to release one device, which can be both a smartphone and a tablet, when it suits you. There are a couple of ideal options: a stretchable screen or a thin tablet with a slot, where an even thinner phone is inserted. For various reasons, these options cannot yet be implemented.

    At ASUS, we came to the solution of these issues, guided by experience with the Transformer series. We take different devices and connect them to each other. The basis is the Padfone smartphone (the name already indicates “flatbed”). Next, we need a large screen (Padfone Station), a keyboard with an additional battery (Padfone Station Dock) and some elegant solution for receiving calls in tablet mode (Stylus Headset). And we will actually assemble a new device like a nesting doll. Fantasy?

    ASUS first showed the Padfone in early 2011 - then it was kept under glass and was not given to anyone. Actually, only a prototype was shown to journalists, which instead of the screen had a sticker with an image. Concepts at exhibitions are a common phenomenon, it’s enough to recall other products from the “what was it” series: ASUS IRIS, ASUS Eee Keyboard; here is just a temporary gap between a plastic dummy created by a designer with an expanded consciousness and a working device swept away from store shelves, comparable with the entire Paleozoic era. And more often than not, the concept remains an unrealized fantasy, the designer is burned at the factory of designers, engineers continue to create mass products.

    A working prototype appeared in May at Computex 2011. And then it became clear - they are serious. From the cute slogan “Phone or tablet? Let's break this stereotype! ” could grow a new class of devices. This is not to say that the creative idea of ​​having one processor on multiple gadgets was unique. But this is the first attempt, which was successful if only in September 2012 that ASUS Padfone reached the shelves of our stores. How many other concepts have received such an honor?

    ASUS Padfone Network


    • WCDMA 900/2100 MHz, EDGE / GPRS / GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz;
    • HSPA + (input: 21 Mbit / s (optionally 42 Mbit / s), original: 5.76 Mbit / s).

    Operating System: Android 4.0 (IceCreamSandwich).

    CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor with a frequency of up to 1.5 GHz and Adreno 225 graphics processor.

    Memory: 16, 32 GB (for the ASUS Padfone and ASUS Padfone Station bundles) eMMC flash memory + 1 GB LPDDR2 system memory.

    Interface: 802.11b + g + n, Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5 mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0, micro-HDMI.

    GPS: support GPS and A-GPS.

    Display: 4.3-inch Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 960x540, covered with Corning Gorilla Glass with HCLR film.

    • rear - 8 megapixels with Fuji video processor, autofocus and LED flash, aperture value - F / 2.2;
    • front - VGA.

    Accelerometer, light sensor, gyroscope, electronic compass.

    Battery: Li-Ion, 1520 mA / h (5.62 W / h).

    Talk time:
    • WCDMA - up to 510 min;
    • GSM - up to 650 minutes.

    Standby time:

    WCDMA - up to 440 hours;
    GSM - up to 373 hours.

    Expansion slots: Micro-SD (supports SDHC / SDXC up to 32 GB).

    • playback - MPEG4 / H.264 / H.263 / WMV @ HD 1080p;
    • recording: MPEG4 / H.263 @ HD 1080p;
    • format: H.264 / Ogg / Theora / MPEG4 / WMV / 3GP.

    Size: 128 x 65.4 x 9.2 mm.

    Weight: 129 g.

    Accessories (optional):
    • ASUS Padfone Station;
    • ASUS Padfone Station Dock;
    • stylus-headset ASUS Padfone Stylus Headset;
    • case.

    ASUS Padfone Station

    Technical Specifications

    Connection Interface: Micro-USB / Micro-HDMI (internal).

    Display: 10.1 ", 1280x800, capacitive sensor, CorningGorillaGlass protective glass with HCLR film.

    • rear - 8 megapixels (rear Padfone camera);
    • front — 1.3 megapixels (1280x800 pixels).

    Built-in vibration sensor, two-color LED indicators battery charge

    • combined audio jack (headphone and microphone)
    • 40-pin jack.

    External antenna: telephone / GPS.

    Sound: speakers with SonicMaster technology.

    Size: 273x176.9x13.55 mm (length, width, average height).

    Weight: 724 g.

    ASUS Padfone StationDock

    Technical Specifications

    Connectors: two USB 2.0, SD / MMC / SDHC card reader, 40-pin.

    Dimensions: 271x185x28 mm.

    Weight: 640 g.

    Features: increases talk time up to 102 hours.

    ASUS Padfone Stylus Headset

    Technical specifications

    Operating time:

    • talk time - 7 hours;
    • standby time - 10 days.

    Maximum range: 10 m.

    Dimensions: 148x12x13 mm.

    Weight: 26.5g .



    A smartphone can be purchased separately without a tablet and keyboard. It is the “hardware” of the smartphone that is responsible for the performance of the Padfone + tablet device, there is no processor in the screen station itself. Without a hybrid bundle, this is the most common modern phone running Android 4.0.

    You may not like its design, because it is "the same as everyone else." But do not rush to conclusions. The phone is not at all what it seems. Just holding the device in your hands, you pay attention to the elegant little things that give Padfone individuality.


    A slight bevel and the inscription ASUS look quite standard. There are no hard keys on the front side. The front camera is located above, the logo below.


    But on the back cover you can blindly, to the touch, identify the "roots" of the device - a corrugated surface in the style of ZEN. Compare with any other phone. A love of detail is a sign of mastery.


    An elegant solution on the side faces: the metal stripes of the edging taper to the bottom.


    On the left side are microUSB and microHDMI connectors, and a connector for the dock (through it the smartphone is charged when connected to the screen station). Accordingly, when connecting Padfone to the PadStation, all the connectors and connector are engaged.


    On the right side are two volume keys.


    Above is the display lock key and headphone jack.


    On the rear side they placed an 8-megapixel camera with an autofocus lens with aperture F2.2 and LED flash. The camera is not bad, but nothing outstanding. But we worked on the interface - it implemented many different visual improvements to the picture, as well as the ability to view the improvements before the photo is taken.

    The phone has a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 8260A processor with a frequency of 1.5 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot located under the battery cover.

    Padfone itself does not cause much wow-effect, but it is nice to hold it in your hand, it is moderately light, and the ribbed back cover does not allow to slide in the palm of your hand. The assembly is good, the material looks reliable, despite the fact that it is plastic.

    As for the quality of the screen, here is not without complaints. On the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 960x540, graininess is noticeable. However, the display boasts excellent contrast, high brightness, color saturation, good viewing angles.

    By the way, at first it seems that the brightness of the display is still not enough. However, the question is removed when the "street mode" is activated.

    Padfone Station


    ASUS own telephone is not a common occurrence. But the screen module on the front side you will recognize at a glance. In front of us is the same famous Transformer tablet with a 10.1-inch Super IPS-display. On the one hand, it is. You can connect a keyboard dock to the screen and get a virtual netbook. But without a phone, alas, in front of us there will be only two fastened pieces of iron.


    The lack of the usual filling is not the only difference. PadFone Station looks like a clumsy stepdaughter in a family of princesses. It is thicker and heavier than the Transformer Pad Infinity and Transformer Prime. A thickening is noticeable on the back cover, which for some reason differs in color from the rest of the surface. This is where the smartphone is installed.


    The solution cannot be called ideal. First, the lid must be opened and closed, and any moving parts sooner or later fail. Secondly, the cover itself does not look reliable. If in the open state it is pressed hard, then it can be broken. However, compare the thickness of modern smartphones and tablets. Paste one into the other and achieve modern standards in weight, design and thickness - for now this is the thing of the future.


    The rest of the accession of the accessory is no problem. Padfone protective glass allows you not to be afraid to scratch the device when connected (and the smartphone goes into the compartment by the grooves). Once the smartphone is installed, after a few seconds the tablet turns on. The smartphone is easily removed, you can do it on the fly.


    It's nice that ASUS was not too lazy to install an additional battery. In fact, this is the only bonus. There are no additional connectors (except for the sync connector and headphone output located on the top) or ports.


    Two speaker grilles are visible on the back cover. In fact, there is only one speaker, but loud.


    In front is a front 1.3-megapixel (1280x800 pixels) camera. The rear, one might say, is present: holes were made in the lid opposite the camera and the LED flash of the smartphone.

    With the narrative, we end here and move on to the main thing: how it all works.

    Padfone + Padfone Station

    Installing Padfone in a Padfone Station switches the Android 4.0.3 interface to “tablet” mode. Since the models of using a smartphone and tablet are different, and the displayed information is logically adapted for devices, the desktops of the two devices do not match. In tablet mode, you see some shortcuts, in smartphone mode - others.

    An image with Padfone “expands” not just by scaling pixels to fill in free space - it uses dynamic display technology that reconfigures Android ICS to a large screen and higher resolution (1280x800). Moreover, the state of each application is preserved when the Padfone station is turned off. This means that literally everything from email to games can be resumed on the big screen since the last time you used it.

    However, not everything is so joyful. Dynamic display technology only works on some applications. For example, you write a letter to Gmail in tablet mode, pull out the Padfone and are surprised to find that the application automatically shuts down. I could not find a complete list of applications that support this technology, but there is another solution. In the settings, there is the item “Applications that support automatic display switching”, and the option “Do not close applications when switching the display” is available in it, when selected, all installed and installed applications will work in compatibility mode.

    I was pleased with the opportunity to set a separate keyboard for each of the modes. You yourself can choose which keyboard can be used on the tablet, and which on the small screen of the smartphone.

    There were fears that a smartphone buried in the bowels of the tablet will begin to lose network. However, a dual GPS antenna and a dedicated 3G antenna provide quick positioning and communication.

    Padfone + Padfone Station + Padfone Station Dock The


    keyboard dock has not changed much since the release of the first ASUS Transformer. Moreover, in fact, this accessory has not changed since the release of the first netbook. The Padfone Dock is slightly thicker and heavier than the Transformer Prime / Infinity Docking Keyboards. This is done specifically to ensure stability - let's not forget about the "little" Pad Station.


    Although you can go for an experiment and connect Padfone to the dock from the first "transformer". No balance, the design will collapse, but you can use.


    The maximum opening angle of the screen.


    Compensating for the communicative dumbness of the screen module, two USB 2.0 and an SD / MMC / SDHC card slot are installed in the docking station.


    The total mass of the resulting “netbook” is 1510 g. The weight of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime with a docking station is 1151 g. But we forgot that our device will replace the tablet, phone and netbook, and their total weight will exceed 2 kg.

    Having collected our technological “nesting doll” and marveled at its weight, we calculate the amount of memory. Take the 32 GB version (Padfone internal memory), add 64 GB (microSD Padfone), add another 64 GB (SD Station Dock) and get 160 GB. And in the cloud, ASUS Webstorage will be available for another 32 GB. Almost a netbook. But if this is not enough for you, just connect an external hard drive via USB to the docking station.

    Padfone + Padfone Station + Padfone Station Dock + Stylus Headset


    At the very beginning of the review, I was worried about the question of how to answer calls in tablet mode. This question was also of interest to ASUS engineers. The way out was found. Since we have a tablet, then someone will want to use a stylus. Write a note, draw a plan to capture the world. We integrate a Bluetooth headset into the stylus - voila!

    When you install a smartphone in Padfone Station, it automatically switches to the stylus headset, and when you remove the smartphone, it automatically shuts off, but you can change this order in the settings.

    Speaking on a stylus headset is not very convenient, and the range is small. If you take Padfone to the next room, the connection will be terrible. The speaker seemed quiet to me.


    At the same time, using the stylus for its intended purpose is very nice. It looks great, it is convenient to hold it in your hand, squeezing with your fingertips (the thickness for the fingers is chosen perfectly), the weight is optimal, the length is satisfactory, and the soft tip allows you to feel the force of pressing.

    Padfone + Padfone Station + Padfone Station Dock + Stylus Headset + case The


    list goes on and on. “Transformer” had almost the same cover - it is pretty, made of high-quality material. There is a loop for the stylus and pockets for a SIM card. The case is not designed to carry a tablet with a keyboard dock, but the case can be used as a stand with two options for installing the tablet: for printing and for viewing.




    According to the good old tradition, ASUS didn’t change much of Android from Google, although they added a few applications. Regular readers already know that the add-ons include a file manager, MyCloud with the ability to store files for up to 32 GB for free for three years, the MyLibrary e-book application, email, clock, weather widgets and a special Padfone Station Utility widget that displays the percentage the ratio of the remaining battery power of the two devices separately.


    The latter should be said separately. Padfone is charged from the tablet until the smartphone reaches 100% charge, or until the tablet is completely discharged. When installing the keyboard, the tablet is first charged, and then the phone.

    However, this is only one mode of operation. An alternative mode involves step charging and a balanced distribution of energy between the tablet and smartphone.


    An excellent processor is installed in Padfone. Surprisingly, in terms of performance, it outperforms well-known competitors, even other “transformers” left behind. The rest of the filling, although not the most “fresh”, is at its best. If Google does not break Android in the next releases, the capabilities of the smartphone, even in tablet mode, will last for a long time.

    Smartphone tests


    Graphic test Vellamo: 1st place.


    Quadrant: 1st place.


    NenaMark video accelerator benchmark: opponents are not the strongest, but they are glad that they defeated Tegra 3.

    Now we will carry out the same tests, but in smartphone + station mode.


    Graphic test Vellamo: slightly fell to 2nd place.


    Quadrant: still in 1st place!


    NenaMark: lost to themselves and took the 2nd place.

    It seems that the phrase "works without freezes" is already a shame to say. Therefore, we will draw the image of the future. Smartphone performance with the station will last for a long time. And next year, and after a year, you can do exactly the same thing that you are doing on tablets now.

    As in other "transformers", ASUS Padfone provides three power profiles that provide finer performance control.

    Another interesting technology got over from computers. It's about ASUS Fastboot. By activating it, you can download (or rather, reboot) the smartphone in just a couple of seconds.


    Life The Padfone has a 1520 mAh battery. Compare this with any other popular smartphone: the battery is barely enough until the end of the working day with heavy use (Internet, games, etc.).

    The tablet has a battery capacity of 6600 mAh. The battery capacity in the dock is about 5500 mAh. Thus, Padfone + PadStation - this is another 10 hours of work. We connect the dock and pull another five hours. All this, again, when using applications that “love to eat” the battery: video, games, network connection. With moderate use, enough for two days.

    Padfone + PadfoneStation + Padfone Station Dock + Stylus Headset + case +?


    We know why we needed netbooks killed by tablets. We know why laptops killed by ultrabooks were needed. We even know why we needed ordinary phones destroyed by smartphones. We don’t understand one thing, why do we need so much technology.

    The idea that one device can replace a number of others is ingenious in its simple. But one idea is not enough, implementation is needed. ASUS is not looking for easy ways, but is trying with Padfone to break into uncharted territory, open a niche, after which other manufacturers will massively rivet their counterparts, breathing on the door of the last car of the outgoing train.

    ASUS Padfone is not without flaws - you read about them in this review. But in the same way, the first netbooks and the first “transformers” scared the flaws. Obviously, Padfone in the near future will become massive and popular, because it has the main thing - the prospects. And at the heart of everything will be a smartphone, around which new and new accessories will appear. Own ecosystem.

    Cons in such ideas are immediately visible. If the smartphone breaks down, then the tablet and the docking station will become useless (until you fix the Padfone). Fortunately, the phone is assembled reliably, the screen is protected, and a fall from a meter height will not be disastrous for him.

    The main drawback is the Padfone Station. The screen module is heavier and thicker than a conventional tablet, and the lid on the case does not add to its attractiveness. The weight of the station is 724 g, and together with Padfone the total weight will be 853 g. After all the other “transformers,” I wanted a device at least no worse.

    Let's try to distract from these minuses by mathematics. A smartphone of this level will cost about 20 thousand rubles, a netbook - 12 thousand rubles, and a good tablet - about 20 thousand rubles. For 33 thousand rubles. You can buy Padfone and the station (without a dock), and save.

    On the other hand, it is already possible for 18 thousand rubles. to purchase ASUS TF300 with a docking station (tablet + netbook) and a good phone for 10 thousand rubles. Diverge, don’t we need Padfone? But no, we forgot about such an important thing as synchronization. Bookmarks in books, save in games, pause in video and much more - these are all the little things that make up the great integration.

    An experienced user can configure everything through a cloud service in a way that is more convenient for him, but for an ordinary consumer, to appreciate all the advantages of such a solution, it is enough to feel that a smartphone and a tablet are one and the same.

    I’ll end up on an even more positive note. I would like to look into the future, see not a direct continuation of Padfone, but, possibly, Padfone 3. Now the smartphone can be turned into a netbook. But the smartphone can be built into the refrigerator door, into a large monitor, into a TV, make an external lens for it, add a projector station, a photo frame, etc.

    I have tremendous confidence that an incredible dawn of transformations awaits us in the coming years.

    Also popular now: