Ever since the PadFone hit the scene we were all thinking that it was a great product and a concept but it wasn't really ready for the prime time – get it? The problem was that the PadFone took so long getting to market that by the time it got to market it was already on its way to becoming outdated. With a lacklustre qHD display on the phone and a chunky, heavy tablet as a docking station it didn't quite live up to expectations. Of course, ASUS being ASUS they're not just going to rest on their laurels.
To that end, the company have just announced the successor to the PadFone in Taipei and it's certainly something to be proud of. The new PadFone 2 comes with a lot of added features and, just like before, it's split between the phone and the tablet dock side of things. At the heart of the beast with the phone you'll be getting the following:
- 4.7" HD 1280×720 IPS+ Display at 550 nits bright thanks to Sharp's IGZO tech
- 1.5 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 – up from dual-core in the first model
- 2GB of RAM
- 16, 32 or 64GB of Storage with 50GB of ASUS Web Storage
- 13 MP rear-facing camera with f/2.4 lens – capable of 1080p video at 30fps and 720p at 60fps and a 1.2MP front-facing camera
- NFC onboard
- The camera is also able to take 100 shots at full resolution continuously!
The PadFone…phone will be using the micro-SIM format and will slot into the tablet dock vertically this time around and there's no door covering the phone when it's docked making the overall tablet slimmer and lighter. Of course, the PadFone Dock comes with some of its own specialities and it's even better than last time around so let's take a look:
- 10.1" IPS Display at 1280×800
- The battery is down from 6600 mAh to 5000 mAh to shave weight
- The tablet now weighs just 514g down from 724g previously. Add the phone – at 135g – and the overall weight is just 649g which is lighter than any version of the new iPad!
When it comes to availability if you're in Taiwan then you get your hands on it right now so, if you know a friend of a friend… Apparently, there will be models of the PadFone that support North American LTE so this could very well make an appearance on some of the US carriers but I'd highly doubt it. There will be both black and white models available however, it's just black right now. When it comes down to money, right now, the device will cost you around $620 to $750 depending on which storage option. If you want the phone and the tablet bundle this'll set you back a further $200 on top of whichever version you choose. So, once again, the PadFone is really quite pricey but, there's a lot you can do with the tablet and phone combo. Whether or not it's worth that much is something you'll have to ask yourself however, I don't think we'll see this launch in the US before the end of the year. If anything, ASUS seem pretty happy about it: