Asus’ PadFone, the dual-purpose phone/tablet shell, is finally coming to market after an extended delay that saw the internals completely redone. As its core, the phone is a 4.3-inch qHD Android 4.0 smartphone with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, but when docked with the Station portion it becomes a fully-fledged Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. There is an 8MP camera on the back, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage inside, too.
According to initial reviews, the implementation is sort of buggy, but these issues can be sorted out with software updates (hopefully). Negri Electronics is selling the combo for $860, but it ships to Canada through FedEx for free, which is a nice bonus.
Considering you can purchase a pretty nice Windows laptop for $860 (USD), and a decent ultrabook for a couple hundred more, it’s a worthwhile question to ask: can the PadFone, which combines your phone and tablet into a single, portable and extremely battery-efficient 3G device, replace your laptop? Google just purchased OfficeSuite to extend its reach in the business market, and there is no question that Android’s excellent multitasking abilities can substitute for a full-blown laptop (with a few notable exceptions).
Unfortunately you don’t get the Tablet Dock with your PadFone Station, which would make the tablet into a real laptop replacement. Bluetooth keyboards, however, are cheap and work really well with Android. The Docking Station has a 6600mAh battery and antennas for GPS, phone and WiFi, so you’re able to send and receive cellular information when the phone is docked.
If you’re the brave sort, head on over to Negri Electronics for the PadFone and let us know how you like it.