Asus Padfone and Samsung Galaxy Note aim for ‘tablet hesitators’
ASUS and Samsung are aiming to convince hesitant smartphone owners to buy a tablet, with the Padfone and Galaxy Note, gadgets that sit somewhere in the middle.
Asus corporate vice president Benson Lin said that the firm’s studies indicated that 54 per cent of mobile phone owners would buy a tablet if it was competitively priced and made a clear difference to what they were able to do on the move.
The Padfone is a top-of-the-range smartphone that can be docked into a tablet for a larger screen, and then in turn dock into a keyboard to provide a laptop. Mr Lin said that the combined charging power also meant the phone could last for nine times the usual battery life. “We’re aiming to produce an experience that means people don’t need three different devices,” he said.
Announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the device is a quad-core phone running the latest version of Google Android and featuring a 4.3” screen. It will ship in April, and also includes a stylus that doubles up as a Bluetooth headset. Prices have yet to be announced.
Samsung also announced an enlarged version of its Galaxy Note tablet, which also features a stylus to allow users to take notes and share annotated screenshots of pictures or webpages. Unlike its smaller, 5” cousin, the Note 10.1” cannot also be used as a phone.
Samsung has added additional business security features to the Note, and said that it will use the Galaxy Tab name for purely touch devices, while adding the Note brand if they come with an “S-Pen” stylus. Mr Lin conceded that security was holding businesses back from adopting tablets over computers, but added that the industry was addressing the problem.
Google’s Android chief Andy Rubin said that Asus and Samsung products were driving Android tablet growth. Asus’s Mr Lin added that Google and Asus were continuing to work very closely to drive the adoption of Android and tablets. Mr Rubin said that so far 12 million Android tablets had been activated, and that 850,000 Android devices overall were now being activated each day.