AT&T Bets on Asus' PadFone Smartphone-Tablet Hybrid

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2014-05-30

NEWS ANALYSIS: AT&T will begin accepting preorders June 6 for the Asus PadFone, a smartphone that slots into the back of, and powers, a 9-inch tablet. At a May 28 press event, AT&T device marketing executive Claudia Knop called the carrier's portfolio "industry-leading" and expressed excitement to be launching a form-factor first in the United States. Asus executive Benson Lin said Asus believes the PadFone's two-in-one form factor will give customers "the most benefits." Below, we're sharing a few photos of the PadFone, as we get to know it. The idea of getting a smartphone and tablet—and notebook, if one purchases the $99 dock/keyboard accessory—in a single device is appealing because buying a new smartphone and a new tablet and a new notebook is expensive. The question the PadFone raises, then, is how high-quality a user experience can be provided by equipment that's priced like an average smartphone? (It's $199 with a two-year contract, or 20 monthly payments of $29.80.) Our initial impression is that the convenience and flexibility of three form factors does come at the cost of a high-end experience—the keyboard, for example, is surely striving to offer a stand-in notebook experience, not a true one. For $199, some users may find that plenty good enough.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel