The Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up in January, but that doesn't mean we're going to stop hearing about it entirely months afterwards. It's par for the course, really, because a lot of the products that were shown off at the huge trade show won't even see the light of day for several months, even from now. Hey, not everyone can be HTC, okay? Besides, we're all more accustomed to devices taking months to find their way to market than anything else, right?
ASUS, no stranger to smartphones these days, was one of those companies that had some devices to show off at this year's show. They didn't surprise too many people when they announced a new PadFone, but thankfully this handset isn't a big slouch in a lot of the specs. I think that's pretty much the only reason why I'm starting to see some interest in this handset.
Or maybe the fact that ASUS has kept the PadFone family from U.S. shores up until now has made consumers interested in the handset and dock.
Yesterday, AT&T finalized and confirmed the specifications for the newest member of ASUS smartphone family. The PadFone X will boast a 5-inch, 1080p HD display, along with a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor under the hood. There's a 13-megapixel camera on the back, with a 2MP camera on the front. Under the hood, you'll find 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. You can expand the memory with a microSD card if you so choose, and you'll be able to connect to things courtesy of Bluetooth 4.0. It has a 2300mAh battery. The PadFone X is running Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box for good measure.
And then there's the PadFone Station, the dock that you can connect your PadFone X to, and use as an Android-based tablet. It has a 9-inch display, with a resolution of 1920x1200. There's a 1-megapixel camera on the front, and a 4990mAh battery should keep you going for quite some time.
The PadFone station may not be a knockout when it comes to specs, but the PF X isn't a slouch, at least. The combination of a smartphone and tablet is pretty compelling, at least in theory, even if it hasn't necessarily caught on quite yet here in the States. Maybe with the PadFone family, it'll get some kind of traction.
Ultimately, when you look at something like this, where the real appeal is being able to dock the phone into a tablet and use the larger display, you have to admit that the desire for the devices is as a pair. If the PadFone X was launching on its own, I'm not sure many people would get all that excited for it, but pair it with the tablet, and maybe you've got something there. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's really going to come down to one thing:
AT&T is still being shy when it comes to the release date for the PadFone X and PadFone Station, but they're also keeping a tight lip when it comes to the price tag, too. If ASUS wants to give these devices a shot, they need to price the total package aggressively. With heavy hitters like Samsung's Galaxy S5 and HTC's One M8, just launching the combo devices with a high price tag won't get anything done. More than that, the PadFone Station doesn't really boast any features that should make it cost a lot of money, to be honest. It's pointless without the phone, so price it as such.
We'll just have to wait and see how the price tag turns out, and when the PadFone X/PadFone Station will land on store shelves. Now hat we know the final set up for both devices, I have to ask: Are you waiting for the PadFone X and PadFone Station? Are these two devices your next purchase? Or are you skipping them entirely for some other handset? Let me know!