Asus unveils the PadFone 2, phone/tablet hybrid coming by year’s end
The Asus PadFone 2 is an Android smartphone with a quad-core processor, a high resolution display, a big battery, and a 13MP camera. But that’s not really what makes the PadFone 2 special. It’s the optional docking station.
Asus offers an optional Padfone 2 Station which transforms the phone into a tablet. The operating system, storage, and processor all rest on the phone. But when you slide it into into the tablet dock you get a bigger screen, larger battery, additional antennas and more.
Asus says the PadFone 2 will be available in Europe and Asia by the end of the year. There’s no word on a US launch date yet.
- 4.7 inch, 720 x 1280 pixel (312ppi) Super IPS+ display with 550 nits brightness
- Corning Gorilla Glass scratch resistant glass with anti-fingerprint coating
- 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core CPU
- Adreno 320GB graphics
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB to 64GB of storage
- Google Android 4.0.4 (with an Android 4.1 update in the works)
- WCDMA, GSM, LTE, HSPA+
- 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, WiFi Direct, A-GPS & GLONASS
- 3.5mm audio jack
- micro SIM card
- 1.2MP front camera
- 13MP rear camera with f/2.4 aperture, five-element lens, auto-focus, and LED flash
- G-sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, gyroscope and eCompass
- 2140mAh battery (not removable)
- Up to 16 hours talk time, 352 hours standby time
- 5.4″ x 2.7″ x 0.35″
- 4.8 ounces
Padfone 2 Station
- 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel 149ppi IPS display
- Corning Gorilla Glass with anti-fingerprint coating
- 5000mAh battery
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GSM, WCDMA, LTE antennas
- Speakers with Asus SonicMaster tech
- 1MP front camera
- The 13MP PadFone 2 camera faces the back and can be used while docked
Specs may vary by region. The PadFone is expected to launch first in Taiwan, where Engadget reports it will run NT$17,990 and up (it’ll cost about $23,990 — or about $820 — if you want the tablet dock.
A phone/tablet bundle will sell later this year in Europe for €799 ($1039) and up. Those prices probably don’t tell us much about what the device would cost in the US though.
As you probably guessed from the name, this is the second PadFone from Asus. The first model was never very widely distributed. But the company has updated the design so that you don’t have to lift a door on the tablet dock to slide in the phone. Instead it slots right into a compartment on the back.
Overall the new phone seems like a big step up from the original PadFone… but aside from the new docking mechanism, the tablet hasn’t changed much. It’s still basically a 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel external display and extra battery for the phone.
Unfortunately Asus hasn’t made any announcements about additional docking stations such as keyboard desktop docks.