Asus PadFone Infinity review
Asus today announced the new version of its PadFone smartphone/docking station combination, and we've had a play with the new device.
The PadFone Infinity combines a smartphone with a 5in, 1,920x1,080 display with a 10.1in dock. When you slide the phone into the dock, it turns immediately into an Android tablet with a 1,920x1,200 resolution.
The smartphone itself reminds us strongly of the iPhone 4, thanks to its gloss black front and silver sides, complete with a SIM slot you open with a paperclip. The design is different round the rear, though, as the phone has a gently rounded brushed metal back.
The phone as a whole feels well made, and the IPS screen is bright and evenly-lit, as we'd expect on a high-end smartphone. The 1,920x1,080 resolution gives a pixel per inch (PPI) figure of 441, so text and graphics are super-smooth with no jagged edges. The PadFone has a quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon processor and 2GB RAM, so had absolutely no problems running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean smoothly.
It slots neatly into a recess in the back of the dock, which feels similarly well made. The dock's screen may not have a resolution has high as that of the iPad 3, but it's certainly sharp enough to make Android look good.
Becomes classy tablet
Other specifications are as you'd expect for a high-end phone; you get a 13-megapixel camera, either 32GB or 64GB storage and 4G networking. Asus claims the phone itself gives you 9 hours of video playback, while when plugged into the dock this extends to 27 hours.
Unfortunately, the combination of phone and tablet doesn't come cheap. The PadFone will be available from Q2 this year, and will set you back €999. This equates to around £880, but we doubt it will be available in the UK for less than £900.
Considering a premium smartphone like the Sony Xperia Z will set you back £500 and an HD Google Nexus 10 tablet is £319, this seems expensive, especially considering the dock won't work as a tablet without the phone plugged in.