Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? Well, a bit of both actually. Asus has just unveiled the PadFone Infinity– a smartphone and tablet in one.
The new gizmo, from the Taiwanese multinational, is a 4G enabled five-inch phone, which can turn into a tablet, almost like the Transformers you used to play with as a kid.
But rather than a robot that turns into a car, you get a phone that turns into a tablet – an innovation Asus believes will be popular with people who don’t want two mobile contracts.
Running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and with a pixel per inch ratio of 441, the PadFone Infinity has pretty impressive specs. The tablet has a 10.1-inch full HD 1080p display but it won’t work unless the phone is docked to the back.
Asus, whose slogan is ‘Inspiring Innovation, Persistent Perfection,’ believes the PadFone Infinity will attract consumers who want both a phone and a tablet but don’t want to have the inconvenience of continually syncing two devices and don’t want to pay to have two separate data plans.
With metal edges, the phone element looks and feels pretty similar to Apple’s iPhone 5, but is slightly wider and longer than the Californian tech giant’s high-end smartphone.
The phone slides easily into the back of the tablet body and the tablet has an impressively responsive screen.
There’s an LED flash-supported 13-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture. A dedicated image sensor makes sure you can capture photos in low light conditions. There’s also a one-megapixel camera on the front of the device.
One unique selling point is the fact the camera can capture up to 100 sequential photos at eight frames per second, while recording 1080p HD video at the same time.
Asus believes its gizmo will mean no need to decide whether to take a video or take photographs during life’s special occasions. Critics have, however, said the system may need a bit of a tweak because problems have been noted with choppy video recordings while snaps are being taken simultaneously.
The whole package is set to come out this April for 999 euros. But, while it is expected to be available in the UK, no launch date has been set for the US.
And the sticking point could indeed be the price. Right up there with the cost of buying an iPad, when the new PadFone was unveiled at the world’s biggest mobile show, Mobile World Conference, in Barcelona, there was a gasp when Asus revealed just how much its latest gizmo was going to cost.
The gadget has, however, already won rave reviews, which just might persuade potential consumers to part with their cash.
“The phone is gorgeous,” said PCPro. “The subtly curved rear panel is made from brushed aluminium, with the PadFone motif etched at the bottom. The front of the full HD screen is made from flat, scratch-proof, Corning-branded glass; the unit just begs to be picked up and touched.”