27 May 13 The Business Times by ng sai ying
THE Asus solution to managing both a smartphone and a tablet comes in the form of a two-in-one hybrid device, and its latest iteration will be officially launched in the Singapore market next month.
Asus, a Taiwan-based electronics company, launched the same product in Taiwan and China recently.
Called the Asus Padfone Infinity, the hybrid device is essentially a smartphone that can be docked into a tablet screen, allowing users to enjoy the benefit of both the 10.1-inch tablet and the 5-inch smartphone without the hassle of transferring digital content and holding two separate data plans.
When docked, apps, data and settings that were previously on the phone will be reformatted to fit the larger display; both parts of the hybrid device run on operating system Android 4.1 and are equipped with full HD displays.
At the same time, battery life will be extended - the Padfone Infinity has up to 19 hours of 3G talk time that increases up to 40 hours when docked into its tablet station.
"The smartphone and the tablet are used for different purposes at different times of the day," said Alvin Huang, Systems Business Group country manager, Asus.
User feedback revealed that the main problems with the smartphone are its small screen, short battery life, and need for data syncing across multiple devices.
On the other hand, the tablet was criticised for its larger price tag, its inability to make calls, as well as its need for a separate data plan.
Combining the two devices will allow users to enjoy the best of both worlds, explained Mr Huang.
Since the debut of the PadFone series last year, the two-in-one innovation has bagged numerous prestigious awards.
Come June 1, the Asus Padfone Infinity will retail at S$898 for the 32GB version and S$998 for the 64GB version, while the tablet station will be sold separately for S$368.
The purchase will come with 50GB of Asus's own cloud storage service, the Asus WebStorage, though the lack of a microSD slot limits onboard storage expansion capabilities.
StarHub and M1 will be offering the hybrid device bundled with a mobile price plan, details of which will be revealed at a later date.
When asked about the other telco, SingTel, an Asus spokesman said that there was a difference in product strategy, though this may change in the future.