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The device of many hats: Asus PadFone X (pictures)

Phone? Tablet? How about both? AT&T's PadFone X handset comes with a 9-inch tablet dock that maximizes your viewing pleasure.

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Lynn La

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AT&T's two-in-one Asus PadFone X

A smartphone at its core, the Asus PadFone X has a particular trick up its sleeve: when plugged into its accompanying station dock, it can be used as a full-fledged tablet. It's currently available from AT&T for $199.99 with contract, and $549.99 without.

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A tablet for a richer viewing experience

When used with its tablet componen, users gain a 9-inch display and dual front-facing speakers.

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Starting out with a 5-inch display

The phone has a 5-inch touchscreen with a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. It runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, has 16GB of internal storage, 64GB of expandable storage, and 2GB of RAM.

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A look to the side

Measuring 5.67 inches tall and 2.85 inches wide, the handset is comfortable to hold, and easy to maneuver with one hand. It sports tapered edges with a brushed-aluminum design that adds just a dash of style to the overall bland-looking device.

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Above midrange specs inside

The phone is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, a 550MHz Adreno 300 GPU, and a 2,300mAh battery.

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13-megapixel lens on the rear

On the back is a 13-megapixel camera capable of shooting 4K video, and on the front is a 2-megapixel shooter.

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Ready, set, slide

To connect the two, you'll need to slide the handset, screen-side down, against the back of the tablet.

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A secure fit

A short haptic vibration will let you know that it's fully docked, and ridges on the side of the tablet's canal locks the phone in place.

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The phone has the power

The station dock cannot function without the handset,  so only when it is inserted can you begin using the tablet. While the tablet has its own 4,990mAh battery, it'll need to utilize the phone's CPU.

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Battle of the bulge

When fully assembled, the PadFone X looks clunky. It measures 9.86 inches wide, 6.78 inches tall, and 0.77 inch thick at its thickest point. Unfortunately, it will bulge out the rear, preventing the tablet from ever lying flat.

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Front-facing speakers

The tablet has a 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution that is passable, but not as crisp as the phone's (in case you're curious, the pixel-per-inch count will drop from 441ppi to just 252ppi on the tablet). As mentioned before, it also has front-facing speakers on the left and right bezels.

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How to achieve Zen (UI)

Overlaid on top of the Android OS is Asus' ZenUI interface. Featuring brightly colored, flat icons, and boxy, oversize widgets, the skin is user-friendly, but can come off as too playful and unsophisticated to the austere eye.

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Accessories for your PadFone X

Folio cases for both the tablet and smartphone are available. Asus also makes a Bluetooth keyboard dock for $100 that can turn the PadFone X's form into a laptop. Click here for more Asus products.

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