My first tablet was a first gen iPad, and not long after getting it I could see the benefit of an integrated environment that could be shared between a tablet and phone. I felt sure that sooner rather than later I would be able to walk into a mobile phone shop and walk out with a package that gave you both a phone and a tablet. Hell, I’d even take a lesser phone if I could have a tablet too. One that was big enough to be functional but small enough to be carried around almost everywhere – but it never really came. It is only very recently that you could get both together. I accept that this is probably down to the cost of bundling them being prohibitive to most users but the option never even appeared to be considered from what I could see.
Then came the padfone. A unique concept of a phone that was docked into a screen and larger battery to turn it into an android tablet – and I love the concept. Same processor meant docking is seemless and can be done on the fly, bigger battery meaning that you can extend the life of your phone and same storage meaning that you only need to install everything once and documents are taken instantly between devices. Sadly the idea was poorly executed and ended up being a jack of all trades, master of none – as a result it has never taken off and despite a couple of iterations, I have still not seen one here in the UK.
Their latest in the line is the padfone mini. A 4.3″ phone and 7″ tablet in one. Sadly they have given the phone a mere 960×540 screen and the tablet a shocking 1280×800. Compare that to the 1920×1200 of the Nexus 7 and you can see that it is someway behind the competition. In fact, on almost all benchmarks (1.4GHz processor, 1 GB RAM) it is at best mediocre. With my next upgrade being January, it looks like I wont be waiting for this to solve my new tablet and new phone needs. Role on the next iteration and the end of my next 2 year contract.