Asus’ second-generation phone-to-tablet hybrid has been revealed featuring many improvements on the previous model, including better, smoother docking; a higher-spec camera and a lighter combination.
The PadFone 2 has been in development for more than three years as Asus completely redesigned the tablet part of this hybrid, though new features for the phone don’t fall short, either. The former dual-core processor has been upgraded to a quad-core and RAM has been doubled to 2GB.
The camera has received a serious upgrade from 8MP to 13MP, offering 1080p video recording at 30fps, 720p at 60fps and up to 100 continuous shots at full resolution. The phone also comes with a 1.2MP front-facing camera, LTE support and an NFC chip.
The larger 4.7-inch display also comes with a boosted battery size to 2,140mAh offering up to 13 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing. While the phone has gained more power, the battery in the PadFone Station has dropped from 6,600mAh to 5,000mAh. This decision was made to make the overall combination of phone and slate much lighter at 649g – a shade lighter than the latest iPad.
Thanks to the redesign, the phone now docks into the slate with ease and apps adapt and load to the 10.1-inch IPS display in what appears to be seconds. This new patent-pending docking system allows for single-step insertion that is even more secure than the original PadFone Station, which used a protective hinged door.
The Asus PadFone will launch with Android Ice Cream Sandwich but a Jelly Bean upgrade has been promised. It will be available in black or white, with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants. Asus is also offering 50GB of Asus WebStorage for two years to users. Think I missed something? That’s because there’s no micro-SD slot for memory expansion.
The two devices will be available to buy separately or bundled together. It will launch in select European countries (Ireland not being one of them) before the end of December. Further availability and pricing has not yet been revealed.