Look, the Asus Padfone isn't everyone's cup of tea – for many it's the name itself that jars – but like the Transformer line of tablets, Asus has delivered something you can't get from anyone else.
But having done the tablet thing, and in the Padfone and the newly announced Padfone 2 the phone/tablet thing, what about a straight Android smartphone? Don't count against it.
At the official European launch event for the Asus Padfone 2 in Milan, Asus VP Benson Lin was asked whether we'd be seeing an Asus mobile phone anytime soon, and responded with a confident “yes, why not?”
And why not indeed. One of the more common observations we've seen in looking over coverage of the Padfone 2 launch is that even without the hybrid dock/tablet element, the second-gen Padfone is a more than capable smartphone on its own. Not a world-beater, but good enough to suggest that if Asus really put its mind to it, it could be a serious contender in the smartphone market.
It clearly also has Google's approval from having met a seriously challenging brief to deliver the Nexus 7, and that counts for a lot in the ultra-congested world of Android smartphones.
“The real challenge is convincing the buying public, early adopters and gadget fans that the Padfone is a viable option and that the next smartphone in your pocket could be from Asus,” Lin commented.
That's pretty much the long and the short of it, Benson, but we will say this: looking at Asus' track record in recent years, we'd back the Taiwanese firm to show one or two of the more established names in the smartphone biz a thing or two.