Asus Padfone mini review: The 2-in-1 starter

Asus Padfone mini review: The 2-in-1 starter

Rating

4.5 out of 5
Design
4 out of 5
Performance
3.5 out of 5
Battery Backup
4 out of 5
Interface
4 out of 5
Value for Money

Total

4
4 out of 5

Overview

  • Pros:

    2-in-1 form factor
    Intuitive Zen UI
    Dual-SIM support
    Decent display

  • Cons:

    Poor battery life
    Bulky built

  • Conclusion:

    Asus Padfone mini is an innovative device and a must buy for the one who want unified experience from a smartphone and a tablet. However, if you want a full-fledged smartphone or tablet, you should have to take a look at some other options available in the market.

Introduction

In the rapidly growing world of tablets and smartphones, each day brings a new innovation. The new innovation could be on the part of an advanced technology or a more affordable price than the competing offerings. Taipei-based Asus is one of the key players who eagerly participate in such innovations and bring their new devices to the markets to get more focus from the public. After introducing the original Padfone, Padfone Infinity and a range of Transformer Books, the company recently brought the Padfone mini to the Indian market to offer users a hybrid experience under affordable price tag. We got our unit a few days back to test its capabilities on our benchmarks and to find out whether it is the most successful 2-in-1 device in the mid-range segment. So here begins our in-depth review on Asus Padfone mini.

Asus Padfone mini review

Asus Padfone mini

What’s in the Box

Asus Padfone mini is a mid-range device that launched in India back in November with a price tag of Rs. 15,999. At this price, the device comes bundled with a handful of in-box content which include an AC charger, data cable, headset and a user manual.

Asus Padfone mini with in-box content

Asus Padfone mini with in-box content

The quality of the bundled accessories is quite decent and their numbers are justifying the price of the device.

Watch Asus Padfone mini unboxing video:

Design

Asus is one of the companies that are quite infamous for making their plastic-made mobile devices. The Padfone mini continues that design strategy and has a plastic built, but does not give inferior look and feel despite of its affordable price tag.

The Padfone mini has a rubberised back and a glossy Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection on front. As mentioned above, it is a hybrid device that can be used as a tablet or a standalone smartphone. This 2-in-1 form factor makes the built of the device a bit bulkier and heavier than usual smartphones and tablets. Moreover, the Padfone mini is divided in two parts – a smartphone unit and a Padfone mini station that works as a tablet dock.

The smartphone unit has a design similar to the company’s last year launched Zenfone series of smartphones as it has a jet-black colored front with a chin on its bottom that has spun-metal finish. There is a display panel that has three touch-supported capacitive keys for back, home and recent app operations. Above the display panel, there is an earpiece and a secondary camera sensor.

The Padfone mini station, on the other hand, has a large size display and Asus branding on the front. The display panel on the tablet dock does not have the Gorilla Glass 3 protection unlike the smartphone unit. Besides, there is an earpiece to let users make and receive voice calls. The interface itself comes with navigation controls so there is no capacitive key available below the display panel.

Asus Padfone mini

Asus Padfone mini with 2-in-1 form factor

On the right side, the Padfone mini smartphone unit as well as its tablet counterpart have volume rocker and power/lock key. The smartphone unit has metal-finished keys, whereas the tablet dock has rubberised-finish keys. Besides, the tablet dock has a microUSB port on the right while the smartphone has the same port on its left to provide separate charging support.

Asus Padfone mini

Asus Padfone mini with volume rocker and power/lock on right

The top side of the Padfone mini has a 3.5mm audio jack.

Asus Padfone mini

Asus Padfone mini with 3.5mm jack on top

Turning the Padfone mini towards rear shows a protuberant back, which exactly has the smartphone compartment with a 24-pin connector dock on its bottom, and a loudspeaker grill is featured on the bottom. It is worth noting that the tablet dock uses the built-in primary camera sensor of the smartphone unit as well as produces stereophonic sound through combining the output of the smartphone unit and its built-in loudspeaker.

Asus Padfone mini

Asus Padfone mini with rubberised back

The Padfone mini station does not have a removable back and a user-replaceable battery pack but the smartphone unit has a removable back that packs a battery pack and comes equipped with two SIM card slots and a microSD card slot.

Asus Padfone mini

Asus Padfone mini with dual-SIM card and microSD card slots

The design of the Padfone mini is a bit odd due to its hybrid functionality as a smartphone and tablet. This odd design has an overall weight of 116 grams and comes with 61.44mm width, 124.4mm height and 11.2mm thickness.

Continued…

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Categories: Mobiles, Tablet PCs