Tablet or smartphone ah?
KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — It’s only been eight months since the Samsung Galaxy Note launched in Malaysia. I was pleasantly surprised at how well-received it is.
“Isn’t it too big for a phone?”
“Can’t fit into my pocket lah” were the usual complaints from people who were wary about the Note.
But once it finally arrived, and they actually played with the 5.3-inch Android smartphone with the stylus – they fell in love with it. People are strange creatures, huh?
Let’s look at how mobile computing has changed within the past few years. The smartphone was introduced in 2007 officially and the tablet in 2010.
As a former tech journalist, I was often asked the question “Should I get a tablet?” I guess the question got answered when the Samsung Galaxy Note was introduced.
It was neither a smartphone nor a tablet. In fact, nobody could give it an official name. And this deviation from smartphones and tablets shook the tech world. Until now, I still have no idea where to categorise the Note but to just call it a Note.
But what actually got techies excited was the unveiling of the upcoming ASUS Padfone which was showcased at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 late February.
Once nicknamed the Steve Jobs of Asia, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih is undoubtedly one of the most innovative talents from Asia. Since his invention of the ASUS Eee PC, which is the first netbook in the world, Shih continuously creates phenomenon after phenomenon.
When the ASUS Padfone was announced in Computex last year, the device drew curiosity among the tech world but Shih was very secretive about it.
All we knew was that it was a smartphone that can be docked into a tablet which functions as a backup battery. Months later, there were not much media coverage about it and somehow or rather it was pretty much forgotten.
Like a clever magician, Shih doesn’t reveal the secret of his tricks just yet. The announcement was just a teaser, a preview, a foreplay of the most exciting device or 3-in-one device if you like.
Like many, I was sceptical of the Padfone during Computex last year. We were happy with our smartphones being smartphones and tablets being tablets. Why marry the two? Oh boy, was I wrong.
I’m a self-professed Apple supporter and I’m never shy when it comes to raving about Steve Jobs but when I heard what the ASUS Padfone can do, my whole perception of mobile computing changed.
I love the fact that it is really mobile! Who would have thought that you can have a smartphone which can be docked into a tablet which can be docked onto a keyboard for more functionality? And they all can function separately if you want. Perfect! Just what I was looking for.
The tablet adds battery life to the phone and if you dock it into the keyboard you have additional battery life. Battery inception? I kid.
Although I loved the idea of the tablet, I never really got into it. Now I have the option to have it or not with the new ASUS Padfone! Have you heard about the debate about keyboards and tablets? It always goes like this: “Should I get a tablet or a netbook?” “Tablet lah, it’s lighter.” “But I need a physical keyboard.” “Netbook then” “But tablets are cooler.”
The thing that actually hit straight to my heart like a cupid’s arrow was the fact that the stylus doubles up as a hands-free Bluetooth speaker. Is that cool or what? I’m just a phone call away from trying to get Jonney Shih and begging him to sell it to me right now (who am I kidding?)
Another “magic trick” that is tempting me to fly to Taiwan is that it is running on the latest version of the Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) also known as Android 4.0.
In Malaysia, the only smartphones with ICS or upgradable to ICS that I know of are the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X and Sony Xperia S.
So if you ever get confused or torn about getting a tablet, smartphone or netbook, you know what I’ll recommend.
Check out the specifications here http://www.asus.com/Mobile/PadFone/#overview
To see the announcement at Computex 2011, view the video here http://www.asus.com/Mobile/PadFone/#overviewAnd if you are curious to what the Padfone was about at MWC here is a link to a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnW0w9SqSHs
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