Asian electronics giant Asus made their name with the release of the budget priced EEE netbook, but the chances are that their newest release, the Padfone, may in fact eclipse the success of anything that they have done before. Due for release in the first quarter of 2012, the Padfone promises to change the way consumers look at smartphones and tablets, by making a hybrid of the two, at their now legendary low pricing scale.It’s a little too early to give a full Padfone review, but there have been more than enough details released that we can look at what comes with your purchase. Before going into complete detail, it might be an idea to actually explain what the Padfone is, and what you can expect.


Up until now, those of us who wanted a smartphone and a tablet had to buy two completely separate devices, and while the Padfone has both pieces of equipment, they can be integrated into a single piece of equipment by docking the smartphone into the tablet.Both pieces of the Padfone connect to the internet through a 3G network, with all data being saved in a single storage pool. Perhaps the most exciting news for those patiently waiting for the release is that the Padfone will be running the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, despite previous rumors to the contrary. Previous test models had been running the Gingerbread or Honeycomb versions of Android, but at this point it’s more than safe to assume that the upgrade to 4.0 will be on the final release, which is expected to be as early as February 2012.


To this point, the Padfone specs have been pretty much kept under wraps by Asus, but there have been some specs leaked, as well as those seen in test models, and while the following list is what we know at the moment, some of them could be subject to change. What is known for sure is that the smartphone will have a 4.3 inch screen, which can be docked inside the 10.1 inch screen tablet. The phone comes equipped with a 5 megapixel camera, as well as micro USB and HDMI ports, and will feature Adobe Flash player compatibility. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the smartphone is that it is believed that it will have a Qualcomm MSM8960 SoC processor, which is part of the Snapdragon S4 platform, meaning that it will be one of the first of its kind to become available to consumers.

The Padfone will also come complete with all the multimedia features that one would expect from a quality smartphone, with Bluetooth connectivity as well as support of all the most popular codecs, such as DivX, AAC, FLAC, AC3 and AC+. There are very few details about the battery, but Asus have said that it will be very much on a par with the best available today. We won’t really know all the good stuff until its final release, which includes the competitive Asus pricing, but the good news is that we don’t have much longer to wait.