Asus's 4.3-inch Padfone unveiled

Posted by Mike Luttrell

If there's one trend we might take away from Mobile World Congress this year, it's the blurring of the line between phone and tablet.

Enter Asus's newly unveiled Padfone, a 4.3-inch device with a Super AMOLED qHD display, a dual-core processor, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich built-in. It's a powerful phone, but Asus wants it to be more than that.

The Padfone will be able to slide into a docking station that turns it into a 10.1-inch tablet. This is an interesting take on the docking idea, which until now has largely been about turning a phone into a laptop.

The Padfone's inner workings, however, are powerful enough to operate a tablet, and perhaps people who have their phone in one hand would rather have a tablet in the other as opposed to a full laptop with mouse and keyboard. There is, incidentally, a separate keyboard attachment if that is something that tickles your fancy.

This idea of phones being "more than phones" is something that has exploded recently, with handsets themselves getting bigger and bigger and functioning more like computing devices than something you want to put up to your ear.

Among the other specs for the Padfone are support for Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI, HSPA+, GPS, and an A-GPS gyroscope. It also has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a VGA front camera.

"The PadFone offers unmatched versatility via ASUS' proprietary Dynamic Display technology which allows seamless transition between the PadFone and PadFone Station display screens," said Asus in a statement.

The phone will be available in April in the US, though pricing details were not announced.