Asus has unveiled the PadFone 2, the second-gen of the company’s innovative Android-powered device that’s emphasizing two devices in one. The Padfone 2 is a powerful smartphone that slides into its companion tablet and actually provides the computing power for the slate when a bigger screen is needed. PadFone 2 comes with a bright 4.7-inch, 1280 x 720 Super IPS+ display ups the screen size and resolution compared to its 4.5-inch qHD predecessor. While the 1.5-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU doubles its forbearer’s processing cores too. Combined with 2GB RAM of memory, the PadFone 2 shouldn’t have any troubles operating smoothly in phone or tablet mode. The phone sports a 13-megapixel camera and wide f/2.4 aperture, along with a burst mode that can capture six shots per second while recording HD video at the same time …
The optional docking station for the PadFone 2 is what makes the whole device special. 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 the tablet dock you get a bigger screen, larger battery, additional antennas and more. The docking technique has been completely overhauled, ditching the original tablet’s closeable cover in favor of a scheme that has you sliding the phone portion into a vertical slot on the rear of the tablet. When you dock the phone, the image instantaneously and seamlessly switches to the slate. Together, the tablet and docked phone weigh just a hair less than the iPad. The display screen for the slate docking is a 10.1 inch size with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution.
The battery for the PadFone 2 has a capacity of 2140mAh battery, not removable, while the slate docking has built-in 5000mAh battery, Asus didn’t specific whether both batteries can be used together at the same time. Overall the new phone seems like a big step up from the original PadFone, especially the total weight of both device. But aside from the new docking mechanism, the tablet hasn’t changed much. Unfortunately Asus hasn’t announce any additional docking stations such as keyboard desktop docks. The new handset is not yet come with Jelly Bean OS, but an upgrade has been promised. 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. 16GB version will run NT$17,901 (US$614), 32GB: NT$19,901 (US$682) and 64GB: NT$21,901 (US$751), while the tablet dock will cost NT$8,990 (US$308).
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