As a designer of mobile products, our challenge is to constantly pre-empt what consumers want tomorrow. It is clear that mobile phones today have a lot more processing power compared to the previous generation. Smartphones are now more like pocket-sized personal computers.
Hence the devices are able to fulfill most of our needs, such as browsing the Internet, listening to music and emailing. However, due to the screen size limitation of mobile phones, most consumers will still buy a pad for a better user experience. This interesting consumer behavior intrigued us.
As a smartphone is quite expensive, it is both a pity and a waste if we cannot maximize its potential for usage. So we thought, is there a way that’ll allow us to fully maximize the potential of the phone? That brought us to the ‘N+1’ design philosophy.
ASUS believes in the philosophy of people centric design, hence we aspire to bring the ‘N+1’ concept to life. N refers to the current product that we have. ‘N+1’ would be to add on a simple change which allows the product to evolve beyond its current capabilities.
We wanted to have an accessory that would complement the smartphone, and allow consumers to enjoy the benefits of both the phone and the pad. Placing the smartphone inside the pad would allow users to enlarge the screen size and expand the user experience. Just like using a pad!
The combination of both gadgets is a breakthrough product, and a comfortable user experience is the key focus here. So we did a lot of research and discussion around this during the design process.
If you look at the design of the pad, you will notice that the curves are really smooth and sleek. Especially on the edge of the back cover and where the phone is placed, as that is an area which will be in frequent contact with your hands.
Aside from the aesthetic value and enhanced user experience, the PadFone has to be well constructed and durable. For instance, with the high quality metallic cover on the pad, users can use PadFone without having to worry about their phones sustaining knocks and bumps or even falling out.
The phone has a well-constructed internal structure. In the traditional manufacturing process for mobile phones, the cover is attached to the internal structure separately. But in the case of the PadFone, both the exterior and interior parts are made with a single piece of aluminum, giving PadFone has a sleek and seamless look that is extremely hardy.
In addition to size, there are many nuances of difference between using a tablet and a smartphone. We have faced numerous challenges in providing users with a brand new experience. The patent “ DynamicDisplay ” was devised to offer users a fluid experience when switching between the tablet and the smartphone. Ensuring the monitor display would not be disrupted by the changeover was a considerable challenge for the software designers. To solve these problems, our designers adjusted application settings to meet the standards of both the tablet and the smartphone.
If a user needs to answer a call when PadFone is in tablet mode the Bluetooth stylus handset ensures it is not necessary to remove the smartphone when answering the call. We have also considered user privacy. Since a tablet display is larger than that of a smartphone, the display’s contents are more readily visible to those nearby. To tackle this problem, we have included App Lock, allowing users to assign applications to be blocked automatically as needed.
For elegance in style, we poured the design concept of ASUS into the product - beauty and strength in harmony.
The concentric-circle design on the back cover of the PadFone not only exemplifies the spirit of Zen, but also implies that the user is the center of the information web, which reaches out towards the world. In order to arrive at the best concentric circle design, the designers tested numerous shapes to discover the optimal peak, crest, and amplitude of the waves. Finally, the designers chose high tension composite fiber as the material, and used 5-axis CNC machining to produce the concentric-circle designed back cover and its comfortable texture.
Apart from using the ZENBOOK’s wedge shaped profile for the interface, we added some dynamic elements to make the calm and simple design more spiritual.
The wedge-shaped panel has undergone 38 manufacturing procedures to produce its delicate metallic texture. The panel manufacturing process included heat treatment, polishing, and anodizing to ensure a solid texture with a stylish minimalistic design.
The patented user-friendly design of the back cover enables users to extract the PadFone easily with a simple push on the cover. In addition, the patented DAS (dynamic antenna switch) system enables PadFone to maintain high signal intensity even when the phone is inserted into the tablet.