The Taiwan-based company launched ASUS Padfone 2, the second generation of the smartphone-tablet hybrid, which comes in a quad-core configuration, being lighter than its predecessor because the battery was shrunken.
The new product was introduced only eight months since the official launch of the first ASUS Padfone at MWC 2012 and only four months since the first gen debuted in the stores, but the Taiwan-based company are betting on a new recipe that is supposed to boost the sales.
The smartphone powering the whole Padfone has received a major upgrade that confirms the current trend in the segment: bigger displays and multi-core processors. ASUS Padfone 2 comes with a 4.7-inch Super IPS+ display with a resolution of 720 x 1,280 pixels and Corning Fit Glass protection (a thinner Gorilla Glass also available on Nexus 7).
The hardware platform is also screaming “high-end:” the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 includes a quad-core Krait processor clocked at 1.5 GHz and Adreno 320 GPU, plus 2 GB of RAM. The smartphone will be available with 16, 32 or 64 GB of internal storage, to which you can add 50 GB of free storage for two years courtesy of the WebStorage cloud service. ASUS have not included a slot for microSD cards.
The connectivity includes 3G technologies with DC-HSPA+ speeds, WiFi, NFC, and LTE 4G where available, while the 13 megapixel camera is capable of recording full HD 1080p videos at 30 frames per second or 720p videos at 60 fps. There’s also a front-facing camera for video calls that boasts a 1.2 megapixels sensor.
In theory, the battery life should be longer, as the 1,520 mAh battery of the first Padfone was replaced with a 2,140 mAh unit for Padfone 2, but the latter one will have to handle more processing power. The batter was integrated in the device, and the smartphone is using microSIM.
ASUS Padfone 2 is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, but Asus promises that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update will be available soon.
The Padfone station is identical when it comes to display. We are talking about the same 10.1-inch IPS display with 1,280 x 800 pixels that was also available on the first Padfone, but the main improvement is the reduced weight. ASUS Padfone 2 weighs in 514 grams compared to 724 grams of the first generation. The weight loss is owed to the smaller battery of the Station: 5,000 mAh instead of 6,600 mAh. When docked into the Station, ASUS Padfone 2 weighs in 649 grams (the smartphone itself has a weight of 135 grams).
Another change is visible at the dock connector. The first generation used a 40-pin connector, while ASUS Padfone 2 has a 13-pin port that makes all the connections between the smartphone and the tablet and that is compatible with the microUSB port.
For those less familiar to the concept of Padfone, I must add that the “tablet” is using the smartphone’s hardware after it is docked into the special slot.
If you considered buying ASUS Padfone 2 aiming to kill
two three birds with a stone: a smartphone, a tablet and a notebook, I have some sad news for you: ASUS has ditched the QWETY keyboard that allowed us to transform the tablet into a notebook. Moreover, the new model doesn’t come with a stylus.
Besides, the lack of the docking keyboard explains the design changes of ASUS Padfone 2. Now, the smartphone is introduced into a lid-less gap in the tablet.
Even though ASUS Padfone has hit the stores four months ago, the gadget wasn’t so popular among the enthusiasts. But, in my opinion, the latest model has at least to advantages in front of the previous generation, and things might change.
On one hand, the smartphone is now exactly what the Android adopters are looking for. It sports a huge display and packs a powerful processor. On the other hand, ASUS is one of the most appreciated tablet makers, therefore this model might become a successful one. Therefore, as a whole, ASUS Padfone 2 is an attractive combination,
The Taiwan-based company only announced the device’s availability for the European market where it will become available for purchase by the end of December, becoming a potential target for Santa’s gifts list.
ASUS Padfoen 2 will come packed both with the smartphone and the Padfone Station at a price of €800 for the 32 GB model, while the version with 64 GB of internal storage will have a price of €900.