Asus held a press conference in Taiwan earlier today, announcing the availability and pricing of its phone-cum-tablet Padfone. Pre-orders for the handset start tomorrow, with units expected to ship on April 20th. To buy into the system won't come cheap, though — the phone alone is priced at NT$17,990 (around $610 US), while the package of PadFone, the tablet-style dock, and combination bluetooth earpiece and stylus will set you back NT$24,980 (roughly $850 US). If you want to take things a step further, then the Transformer-style keyboard dock adds another NT$3,921 (roughly US$130), bringing the total price to a hefty US$980.

This meets Asus' promise of an April launch, as announced at the end of February. Back at MWC we had a chance to try out the unusual concept, and found the system snappy with smooth switching between the phone and tablet interfaces. Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore have been announced as the next launch regions, though there's no date given just yet. However, with prices that high, will anyone be willing to buy?