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Negri Electronics is selling the Asus PadFone for $860, but is it really a laptop replacement?

Asus’ PadFone, the dual-purpose phone/tablet shell, is finally coming to market after an extended delay that saw the internals completely redone. As its core, the phone is a 4.3-inch qHD Android 4.0 smartphone with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, but when docked with the Station portion it becomes a fully-fledged Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. There is an 8MP camera on the back, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage inside, too.

According to initial reviews, the implementation is sort of buggy, but these issues can be sorted out with software updates (hopefully). Negri Electronics is selling the combo for $860, but it ships to Canada  through FedEx for free, which is a nice bonus.

Considering you can purchase a pretty nice Windows laptop for $860 (USD), and a decent ultrabook for a couple hundred more, it’s a worthwhile question to ask: can the PadFone, which combines your phone and tablet into a single, portable and extremely battery-efficient 3G device, replace your laptop? Google just purchased OfficeSuite to extend its reach in the business market, and there is no question that Android’s excellent multitasking abilities can substitute for a full-blown laptop (with a few notable exceptions).

Unfortunately you don’t get the Tablet Dock with your PadFone Station, which would make the tablet into a real laptop replacement. Bluetooth keyboards, however, are cheap and work really well with Android. The Docking Station has a 6600mAh battery and antennas for GPS, phone and WiFi, so you’re able to send and receive cellular information when the phone is docked.

If you’re the brave sort, head on over to Negri Electronics for the PadFone and let us know how you like it.

Via: Phandroid

  • Sean

    “and comes with the Padfone Station, a 10.1″ tablet display” Yup it does come with the tablet dock. For that price you get a phone and a tablet, that is about equal ($500 phone, $400 tablet)

  • vengefulspirit99

    Seems like a really cool idea, but not developed enough yet to be a real winner yet. Give it a few more years

  • Brett

    I think Daniel meant the keyboard dock the tablet screen plugs into.

  • jellmoo

    I’m still not sold on the real value of this setup. For a very similar, if not better price point you can purchase a phone and a tablet. And then you actually have a phone *and* a tablet. This setup pretty much gives you a phone *or* a tablet.

    I’m not saying that it is without advantages (the extra battery is certainly nice), but I’m not clear as to why this system is innately better than owning each device separately.

    • Michael

      You can actually talk on the phone via a bluetooth headset thing that you get, while the phone is ‘docked’ into the tablet.
      And let’s not forget that the storage is in one place (your phone), the apps are set up the same (since it’s your phone that’s the core of the tablet), and it charges your phone while you’re using the tablet, rather than discharging it while you tether to a tablet which you are using to surf.

  • kevinc

    Unfortunately, the Negri Electronics product page does not list the specifications (as far as I can tell).

    If this is the same unit sold in Asia and Australia, it will only work in 2G mode here. The overseas version’s 3G antenna operates at 900/2100.

    As far as I know, none of the canadian wireless providers offer 3G at these frequencies, meaning that this device, in Canada would be a 2G phone with wireless capability.

    I would LOVE to own this device, with usable 3G capability, but I don’t see a compatible version here until the 2012/Q4 or 2013/Q1.

    • kevinc

      Negri Electronics has updated the page for this product.
      They *ARE* selling the asia/australia version of the device. It will only work in 2G and wifi mode here.

      Caveat emptor.

  • kevinc

    I meant “2G phone with WiFi” capability.

  • Joe

    No, it’s not really a laptop placement. The computer hybrids shown at Computex 2012(tablet + laptop) are; such as the ASUS TAICHI, Transformer Book, and the AiO (All in one). Some of them are dual-booted too.

  • Michael

    I can be a laptop replacement if you get the keyboard dock as well (~$150).

    Decent netbook: $400
    Decent tablet: $400
    Decent phone: $500

    so price-wise, you’re not saving that much, but you are getting a one-device-centric storage and apps set up without fiddling with the likes of cloud storage or dropbox and having to install each application 3 times and configuring it 3 times.

    Further, you don’t need to carry three devices around, which is a big thing for many people, I think.

    • Mark

      Michael, no takers yet for just a $150 keyboard dock?!?!

      It’s so refreshing to see people like you that will allow yourself to be controlled by a keyboard and be productive.

      How are you doing presentations though as PowerPoint doesn’t always work for me and that could be key in my decision?

      I may still be interested but I have to see if the wife will let me bring someone into the house as you obviously need to be fed and have a room to sleep. I like my laptop but if you can replace it and even accompany me on those boring business flights this may work out great!!

      How many movies can you act out!! I hope some recent ones and a few classics.

      I will get back to you soon if you haven’t been snapped up by somebody that needs a replacement asap!!

  • anaj

    I am sold the idea! ABSOLUTELY love it!!

    I just got a phone on a contract otherwise I would get this. I will wait till at least 2 more years for the idea to fully develop and have better design/implementation and price.

    GO ASUS! they are truly innovative.

  • jansen

    negri electronics sells stuff and marks up the price so much. if you want a laptop replacement go with a windows tablet or ipad or even a lenovo. it will still be cheaper.

    the new lenovo u310/u410 runs for 599 US that comes with i5 processor 4/6gb or ram and a beautiful body. for only 3lbs. so you do the math. 899 for an app running pc
    or 599 for a real computing device that gives up to 9 hrs of battery.

  • freestaterocker

    Interested to see if anybody will revisit this concept with the release of Windows 8/Windows Phone 8. Seems like a match made in Redmond to me!

  • TKG26

    Even if the KEYBOARD was included and it should be… WAY TOO MUCH MONEY…

    450$ gets us the asus transformer with dock keyboard. and get your next phone on contract for under 160$ or FREE…. IF it was an actual asus transformer with the phone then now we are talking

  • Skullnerd

    The keyboard isn’t important if you own the tf101 with its keyboard. The two keyboards are interchangeable. I would give this a shot if it worked in Canada as more than a 2g phone on the rogers network. Won’t work at all on telus or bell.

  • Nick

    Too much, if you ask me.

    Consider that the HTC One S (almost identical specs to the phone) can be obtained for $550 with no contract (and cheaper from non-Robelus dealers), which leaves you $300 for an entirely separate 10″ tablet. That’s right about where the Acer 510 is priced, and it has its own parts so it functions as a separate device.

    • Sanjiro

      Where can you get this Acer 510 for $300? I’ve seen Acer 500 (tegra 2, not tegra 3) for around $300 refurbished and the A200 for around $300 as well, but a new Acer 510 seems to be around $450. The S4 in the phone is pretty powerful and is closer in performance to the tegra 3 than the tegra 2. For $860 you’d get the equivalent of a $600 cell phone, that can be turned into a 10″ tablet as well as a $150 dock. So if you take out the phone and dock from the overall price, $860 – $750, you’re paying around $110 for the tablet shell which sounds pretty reasonable if you ask me.

  • Mohsin Iqbal

    It’s also available at CanadaGSM

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