U.S. consumers looking for a modular phone and tablet device will find what they’re looking for on June 6: That’s when AT&T will begin taking pre-orders for the Asus PadFone X. The unique device is both handset and a slate although the latter doesn’t work without the former. The phone docks into the tablet and powers the slate, sharing its LTE connection with both screens.
Overall, the phone doesn’t quite compare with the latest flagship phones; at least not on paper. That’s because the Asus debuted the device before the current crop of advance handsets. It’s still relatively powerful though, boasting a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip that runs Android 4.4 on the 5-inch full HD display. Pop the phone into the back of the tablet and those hardware bits power Android on a 9-inch full HD display; essentially the tablet is a shell that’s running the phone software on a larger screen.
The handset also has a 13 megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture so it should gobble more light in dim situations. Internal storage is 16 GB but can be expanded with an additional 64 GB of storage. The PadFone X can also be charged wirelessly. And Asus has worked on its own software to smartly resize apps when running them on the 9-inch tablet.
AT&T is already taking email addresses for thos interested in the PadFone X which can be bought in three different ways: $22.92 a month with AT&T Next 18, $29.80 per month with AT&T Next 12 or $199 with a two-year agreement. The carrier is also offering a special promotion for $80 that includes a protective cases for both devices and a Duracell Wireless Charging Mat for $80. That deal runs from June 6 to July 24 and saves you $50. AT&T is also offering a mobile dock that transforms the modular device into a laptop-like experience through a Bluetooth keyboard.