Wed, Feb 29, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Asustek presents ‘Padfone’ hybrid

THREE-IN-ONE:The smartphone that turns into a tablet and into a laptop will hit store shelves in April, and the company expects its tablet shipments to reach 3 million

AP and CNA, Barcelona, Spain, and Taipei

It is a smartphone that slides inside a tablet for a bigger screen and more battery life. Attach the tablet to a keyboard, and it is a laptop that works as a telephone.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) will release its “Padfone” in April, and offered a peek at the three-in-one device at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s biggest cellphone show.

Asustek did not reveal the cost on Monday, but said the smartphone would have a 4.3-inch screen, measured diagonally.

The tablet is 10.1 inches measured diagonally. It features Qualcomm Inc’s latest S4 dual-core processor and Google Inc’s Android 4.0 software, Asustek said in a statement.

The company said the Padfone -provides five times more phone battery life.

“The time has finally arrived when every screen in your lives can transcend into a portal with real time access into your digital world,” Asustek chairman Jonney Shih (施崇棠) said.

The Padfone missed the Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping holidays after Asustek unveiled it at the Computex tech fair in June last year.

Asustek chief executive Jerry Shen (沈振來) told investors on Friday that the Padfone would hit store shelves in April, and he expected the company’s tablet shipments to increase from 1.8 million last year to 3 million this year.

“We note that Asustek is one of the very few companies that hasn’t missed tablet shipment guidance for 2011,” Kirk Yang (楊應超), head of Asia (ex-Japan) tech hardware research at Barclays Capital, wrote in a note on Sunday.

He cited Asustek management as saying that tablet PCs will account for more than 10 percent of Asustek’s revenue this year, and that the company will also target 1 million units of the Padfone for this year.

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