ASUS used its time at Mobile World Congress to not only reintroduce the ASUS PadFone while adding new function and features, but also completely rebrand its Transformer series of Android tablets with keyboard docks. In addition, ASUS also unveiled some Transformers that may be coming to an LTE carrier near you.
We knew that the ASUS PadFone was a tablet with a docking smartphone from its unveiling at Computex last September. Now we know that the 4.3-inch and 10.1-inch tablet/smartphone combo will also support a Transformer-like QWERTY keyboard dock, effectively making the PadFone a three-in-one smartphone, tablet and notebook.
In addition, ASUS unveiled a capacitive stylus for the PadFone that doubles as a second receiver for phone calls. Yes, you will be able to talk into the stylus. With it, users will not have to remove the phone from the tablet, which effectively powers down the tablet, for phone calls.
The entire PadFone unit is powered by the phone, and it features a Super AMOLEDaHD display, a Qualcomm S4 dual-core processor, Adreno 225 GPU, and an 8-megapixel rear-camera as well as a VGA front-facing shooter. It will ship with Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 and come in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB capacity, expandable via microSD.
The PadFone is scheduled to ship in April and will support a range of bands, including HSPA+. The tablet portion will add 5x battery, while the keyboard dock will extend power to 9x. There is no word on pricing.
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is no more, as ASUS rebranded its docking tablets as the “Transformer Pad” line. Soon, there will be five Transformer Pads to choose from, including the original, which launched as the Eee Pad Transformer with Honeycomb in 2011, the quad-core Transformer Pad Prime, Transformer Pad Infinity, and the new Transformer Pad 300 series.
We’ve already spent time with the Infinity Series at CES 2012 where it was then known as the 700 series. It also has a quad-core processor and a whopping 1920 x 1200 display. New at Mobile World Congress is a 4G LTE Transformer Prime Infinity with the same display and a Qualcomm MSM 8960 Snapdragon S4 Krait Dual-core 1.5Gh processor, and the 300 Series, with a 1280 x 800 display, quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, and 4G LTE support. Thanks to the keyboard dock that extends battery life, the LTE drain that affects so many smartphones won’t be much of an issue.