The Asus PadFone has been around for two years, but a model hasn't made it to the US until now. The question is, is it too late or is the timing just right? If you're a tech addict, the answer is probably too late--you've moved on from your import PadFone to the next three shiny things by now. But the timing might be just right for adoption by average folks who want both a tablet and a smartphone and for enthusiasts in the US who weren't quite daring enough to order an import.
The PadFone X is available on AT&T for just $199 with contract. Why do I say "just" when that's a standard flagship phone price? Because you get the phone and the tablet dock in the box for that price. Now that's pretty sweet. The PadFone X is a flagship level Android smartphone with a 5" full HD IPS display, 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU, 2 gigs of RAM and a 13 megapixel camera. On paper, it's in the same league as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, both in terms of specs and size. The tablet dock has a 9", 1920 x 1200 IPS display with the biggest bezels we've seen since 2005.
The appeal here is that you don't need two data plans, nor do you need to sync data between your phone and tablet. They are one in the same. The brains are in the phone and the tablet is merely a larger screen and it also has a secondary battery that can power the whole shebang or charge the phone. There's a slot on the back of the tablet dock for the phone, and it's pretty smooth mechanically and in terms of software functionality. And yes, you can make calls when the PadFone X is in tablet mode--a feature other US carrier tablets don't offer.
The Asus PadFone X is the third generation PadFone model from Asus, and it's the first Asus phone to arrive on a US carrier. You can preorder it on June 6 from AT&T's website.
Here's our Asus PadFone X video review. Our full written review will follow.