Hands On with the Asus Fonepad and Padfone Infinity
The Padfone Infinity is the latest in Asus' Padfone lineup of phones that plug into full-size tablet shells. With this latest iteration, Asus has packed in all of the very latest top-end specs for 2013, including the 5-inch 1080p display, 13-megapixel camera, and Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor. The other half is a 10.1-inch tablet shell with its own 5000 mAh battery.
Asus is proud of the aircraft-grade aluminum frame and shell of the phone. It looks pretty - I've always loved the brushed metal look - but to me it didn't feel quite as high-quality as it looked. I could tell it was mostly metal, but it still had a cheap feel that I can't quite explain. Perhaps brushed aluminum is just not a good material for phones; perhaps there's a reason we don't see manufacturers use it more often. The quality was not enhanced by the very uneven backlighting of the capacitive keys. The units we handled also had SIM card trays that didn't fit properly.
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The quality of the tablet shell was a notch better, but it was thicker than I would have liked. It seems thicker than an iPad 2, and that's before you get to the hump on the back where the phone docks. Considering it doesn't the "guts" that the phone has, you'd think they could have flattened it more.
The final downside is the price. Asus expects this to go for 999 Euros. For that price, you could get an iPad and an iPhone, and have two devices instead of one plus an accessory. It's hard to see the value here.
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