Asus outs the PadFone, updates Transformer range

How would you like a tablet that can hold your smartphone? It’s coming, with Asus finally talking about the PadFone, while also giving the Transformer series of hybrid tablets another refresh.

Asus has pulled the cover off its much anticipated concept, the Asus PadFone, a product that consists of a phone that has the ability to plug into a tablet to share files and the mobile Internet connection.

Featuring a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 4.3 inch Super AMOLED screen with qHD’s 960×540 resolution and Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, the PadFone certainly can compete with many of the devices being announced this week. Asus is also throwing in between 16 and 64GB storage, microSD slot for upgradeable memory, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, rear 8 megapixel camera with f2.2 aperture and LED flash, front VGA camera, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

A compartment at the back of the PadFone Station will make it easy to dock your phone.

But the phone isn’t the main part of the package people will really take notice of, as there’s also a tablet docking station for use here.

The PadFone Station is a 10.1 inch touchscreen tablet with a compartment built into the back where you can connect the PadFone, taking advantage of the phone’s Android 4.0 operating system, files, and mobile connectivity, for more computing power.

What’s more, the PadFone Station features a unique Bluetooth headset that can be used as a stylus. We’re not quite sure what this means and suspect it’s a little more than “stick the pen in your ear”, but are keen to see what Asus is talking about with this concept.

Meanwhile, the hybrid laptop tablet that is the Asus Transformer is also receiving a refresh, barely a month after the latest Transformer Prime model has hit store shelves. Two more variants of the Transformer will become available in the near future, each with LTE versions able to take advantage of the high-speed 4G networks coming online later in the year or already provided by telcos such as Telstra.

The Transformer 300 series will be made available in red, blue, and white.

Similar to the Transformer Prime, Asus will be launching the Transformer Pad 300, a model with very similar specs – Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 10.1 inch 1280×800 multi-touch screen, 16GB storage – but will do away with the ultra-bright Super IPS+ screen and Gorilla Glass seen on the Prime.

The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity: it's basically the premium Prime.

Asus will also launch the Transformer Pad Infinity, a premium model of the Transformer featuring a 1920×1200 10.1 inch Super IPS+ screen, Corning’s new Gorilla Glass 2 which is apparently even better at deflecting scratches than the first version, up to 64GB of storage, quad-core processor, 3G, and Bluetooth 4.0.

Sadly, we haven’t been given Australian release dates or prices for either the Transformer models or Padfone, but you’ll certainly know more when we hear it.