ASUS has today announced that its long-awaited all-in-one Android smartphone and tablet device, the Padfone, will launch in Australia on 14 August at a cost of $999.
First revealed by ASUS back in May 2011, the Padfone uses a modular design consisting of an Android smartphone that docks inside a tablet, effectively combining two devices into one. When the Padfone is placed inside the included "Padfone Station", the Padfone turns into a full 10.1in Android tablet.
The Padfone Station is just a screen, so all the processing power, memory and connectivity comes from the Padfone itself. However, the tablet does have a 6600mAh battery which charges the Padfone whenever it is docked.
The Padfone package sold in Australia will include the Padfone, the Padfone Station tablet device, a Bluetooth stylus that allows users to answer phone calls when in tablet mode, and a "smart sleeve" case to store the device.
In other markets, ASUS also sells a Padfone keyboard dock as an optional accessory, but the company has confirmed this accessory won't be available in Australia at this stage.
The ASUS Padfone itself has a 4.3in Super AMOLED qHD display with a resolution of 960x540, is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, has 1GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. A microSD card slot allows memory expansion, while an 8-megapixel rear camera and front VGA camera for video calling are also included. The Padfone Station has a 10.1in screen with a resolution of 1280x800.
The Padfone will initially ship with the Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 version of Google's Android operating system. ASUS has confirmed the device will be upgraded to the latest Jelly Bean 4.1 version in the coming months, but has not specified a firm date or time frame.
The ASUS Padfone will be available through Harvey Norman retail stores in Australia from Tuesday 14 August for $999.
Is $999 too much for the ASUS Padfone? Will you be buying one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!