Detailed Padfone owner review

Marc Schattorie, Saturday 23 June 2012 - 12:54:00

The Asus Padfone, when I'm writing this review, it's still not available in Europ, and I'm probably also the only person in The Netherlands who owns one, but I've been able to import one via Taiwan.

I think it's clear what the Padfone is about, it's a phone, tablet and a laptop/netbook i one packagen.
My previous phone was a Samsung Galaxy S II, so I know what I'm talking about when I say that this phone is another strong player in the high end phone market .
This device has an 1.5 GHz dual core processor and a dedicated graphics card and 1GB RAM. 1080p video will be played back without any problems on the 4.3" screen.
Inside the phone you can add a Mini-SIM card (This pink card is a Mini-SIM card: and a Micro-SD card.

When the phone is inserted into the tablet (Padfone Station) you immediately forget that you are using a phone. The interface changes to suite the larger 10.1" screen, and the same 1080p video keeps playing without any issues as if nothing changed

If the Padfone is inside the Padfone Station, you can compare it to the EeePad Transformer (TF101), and I have to say that the Padfone runs a lot smoother compared to the first generation Transformer.
Multitasking, even during a call, is no problem for this device.

A nice fact about the Padfone Station is that it has a nice and broad sound. The single is located on the right side of the docking part (The holes on the other side are NOT used for a second speaker).

The keyboard (Station Dock) makes the whole package compleet, nice key feedback, special Android keys, two full sized USB ports and a full sized SD cardreader.
I don't really use the touchpad, because you have a touchscreen, but the touchpad works fine as far as I can judgs.

Calling with the phone, because we all know how we use a phone to call... On the other hand, calling with the phone while it's inside the Padfone Station? But Asus wouldn't be Asus if they didn't find a stylish solution for this. If the phone is docked in the Padfone Station, and a call arrives, a message will pop-up in the l lower right coerner of the screen. Now you can choose to answer the call using the speaker, to take the phone out of the docking station or… to take your stylus and accept the call using it as a headset (Stylus Headset). It may look a little wierd, but it works greatt. The sound quality is very good.
The stylus does also have a vibration feature,

Working on the tablet during a call is no problem:

Wireless connectivity
The first thing you want to know is that the Padfone Station has it's own antennas to make the signals stronger when the phone is docked.
I haven't had any issues using wifi or mobile networking connections.
I don't have a very fast subscription, it only allows me to download with 3.6mbps (the Padfone allows a speed of up to 21mbps), but I'm very happy with the connection state. Even in locations where other phones have issues with the mobile network, the Padfone keeps running without any problems.

Battery life
3 batteries, one in the phone, one in the Station, and another in the keyboard. This combination makes it possible for me (and I use the device a lot) to use the device without having to use power saving options. I always use it on full brightness, keep it on whenever I walk away from it, and on the end of the day, I still have enough juice left.

Usage ease
Personally I really like the feel of the "devices" when I use them. But I can emagine that some people don't like the weight, compared to all the other high-end tablets on the market, the Padfone Station with the phone inside it is a little bit heavy. It's also a little bit thicker, expecially the part where the phone is docked.
But what really surprised me, is that when you hold the tablet in portrait mode, it still is very nice to hold it (since one side is thin, and the other part is thicker).
The phone on it's own is very light and thin, comparing it to the Galaxy S II, there is not that much differenc in weight and thickness. When you combine all 3 (phone + station + keyboard) it is noticably heavier than a regular netbook, for me personally that's no big deal, but it could be for some people I guess.

Outside usage is also a little bit better compared to the TF101.
When you have both tablets on 100% brighness, the Padfone is darker compared to the TF101.But, the Padfone has a special button on the left side of the brightness bar, it makes the screen a lot brighter (brigher than he TF101), and it makes outside usage a lot better. You probably don't see very well on the photos, but it is a noticable difference. The story above applys to both, the phone itself, and the Padfone Station.

Design and build quality
The phone itself is very nicely finished, but it dos feel a little bit liek a toy if you are used to a Samsung Galay S II, but it after using it for about 2 days, you won't feel that way anymore. The Station (with and without the keyboard) is also very nicely finished, and everything is very robust.
A very important part is that the part where the phone is docked is also very well finished. It is not possible to move the phone 1mm if it's docked, so you can throw the station with the phone docked in the air, and let it turn in the air a couple times, it won't move (but I wouldn't recommend trying it XD).

Stability and reliability
I think it's to early to judge this part, At the moment I write this review, the device is about 1,5 months rarely on the market. But I have to say that it is pretty stable.There are some little bugs, but these can all be solved with software updates (and I'm saying this as a IT Manager/Software Engeneer). When I turned the phone on for the first time, the first message I got was a system update.

This image demonstrates one of the little bugs, when the phone is docked, and in standby, this erro may occur some times:

In my case the price is worth it, since I use it every single day for college and work, but I don't expect any of my classmates to buy one. because the price is pretty high.

A short video:

Marc Schattorie

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