Asus phone-inside-a-tablet PadFone is official: Here’s what it looks like

ASUS Padfone+PadFone Station 01

Having already blurred the line between table and notebook computer with last year’s Transformer, Asus will fold yet another device into the equation with this year’s PadFone: A smartphone that turns into a tablet that turns into a laptop. After teasing the device as far back as Computex 2011, Asus formally announced final details for its ambitious project Monday afternoon at a Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

PadFone+PadFone Station+PadFone Station DockAs with the Asus Transformer, the PadFone will be marketed as one device (a smartphone) with different accessory “docks” to unlock its dual life as both a tablet and notebook. But even before you add those frills, the basic phone is no dud. It sports a 4.3-inch qHD AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass, an 8-megapixel rear camera using a Fujifilm sensor, and 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage, with 1GB of RAM. Interestingly, Asus went with a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor rather than the 1.5GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 powering many of the other superphones unveiled at MWC, like LG’s Optimus 4X and HTC’s One X.

The phone itself looks a bit like an oversized iPhone from the top, thanks to its rounded edges, flat black face and a brushed-metal band around the edges. Further down it deviates from the familiar Apple trope with a tapered chin, while the back features a textured brown plastic.

The PadFone Station — basically just a tablet with no brains — accepts the phone via a trunk in the back, just like in prototypes. Asus’ proprietary Dynamic Display technology allows it to precisely mirror what’s on the screen of the phone on a larger 10.1-inch display with 1280 x 800 resolution. Besides just blowing things up for easier reading and watching, the PadFone dock has a 24.4 Watt-hour battery to extend the life of the phone, and its own speakers. Asus hasn’t yet clarified whether the PadFone station will need a specific dock, or function with the existing dock from the Transformer.

ASUS PadFone+PadFone Station 02

While Asus revealed full specs, the company was not as forthcoming with pricing, which could make or break a three-in-one device that essentially has to undercut all the other devices it poses as in order to make sense. The original dock for the Transformer listed for $160, making it an expensive purchase on top of a $400 tablet. After all, that put it into the same price range as a full-power laptop. With standalone Android tablets like the Kindle Fire selling for as low as $200, Asus will have to price the PadFone aggressively in order to convince consumers they need a phone that turns into a tablet, not just one of both.

ASUS PadFone

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for March 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Tablet or notebook? Our favorite 2-in-1 PCs give you the best of both worlds

If you can’t decide if you need a tablet or a notebook, then don’t bother. The best 2-in-1 laptops are both, and they can provide all the power you need. Check out our list for the best 2-in-1s for any user.

The best Sony Xperia 10 Plus cases to keep your smartphone safe

It's always a smart play to safeguard your smartphone with a decent case or cover. We've identified the best Sony Xperia 10 Plus cases here, so take your pick from rugged protection to slim style.

More than a screenshot: How to record the screen on an Android device

If you've ever want to record video of your Android screen, there are plenty of apps that can help. Here's an easy guide on how to record the screen on an Android device with the right settings and apps.
Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.

Samsung Galaxy Fold pre-orders will start April 26, with shipment on May 3

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

Huawei P30 Pro is a gorgeous-looking smartphone packed with camera ingenuity

Huawei has kicked off the new year by launching the new Huawei P30 Pro and P30. With upgraded hardware, new software tricks, and some absolutely stunning cameras, Huawei's new phones are serious contenders.
Product Review

4 Lenses, 40 megapixels, and 400k ISO. Huawei’s P30 Pro is a photography freak

Huawei’s P-series phones place an emphasis on the camera. That’s why the company partnered with Leica on the camera tuning. The latest phone is the Huawei P30 Pro, and it must fill the big shoes of last year’s stunning P20 Pro. Is it…
Product Review

Compared to the P30 Pro, Huawei may have stripped too much out of the P30 phone

Has Huawei pulled all the best parts out of the P30 Pro to make the P30, its cheaper, smaller sister phone? Yes, but the answer is more complicated than that. Here’s our look at the 6.1-inch P30.

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro vs. P20 Pro: Which Huawei flagship is best for you?

If you're after a Huawei smartphone, but can't pick between this year's flagship and the previous two, or maybe you're looking to upgrade, we're here to explain what makes the P30 Pro, P20 Pro, and Mate 20 Pro different.

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Huawei P30: Should you go pro or save some dough?

The latest phones from Huawei are seriously powerful, eye-catching devices, but what sets them apart? We take a look at the Huawei P30 Pro and compare it to the Huawei P30 in various categories to uncover the differences.