AT&T will carry the Asus Padfone X, a modular phone and tablet combination device. The carrier announced its plans on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show but didn’t specify pricing or availability. For consumers that don’t want a separate phone and tablet plan, the Padfone X could be appealing.
All of the hardware guts are inside the 5-inch phone which has a full HD touchscreen display and runs Android KitKat 4.4. You use the handset as you would any normal phone but when you want a tablet experience, the phone slides into the tablet companion devices. The docked smartphone then powers the 9-inch full HD tablet display, which has a battery of its own that can also recharge the phone.
It’s an interesting idea and one that Asus has tried before in other areas of the world. Here in the U.S., carriers have typically preferred to sell separate smartphones and tablets to consumers. Why? Because operators charge each individual device for the data. Since the Padfone X tablet doesn’t work independently, it shouldn’t require any additional data charges over what consumers would pay for the Padfone X handset.
I like the concept but I’ll have to get my handset on the device to see how well it’s executed. I anticipate it will work fine if the phone and tablet potions are running the exact same screen resolution. I’m also wondering: How difficult it is to take a phone call when the handset is docked in the tablet?