Ever since the original Padfone hit shelves we've been wondering whether or not such a device would be successful and while it wasn't too successful in terms of sales, it certainly turned a few heads. It was something new and fresh in a world of ever expanding phone displays and generic Android tablets. It was a fine device and offered a lot but, when it came down to the specs, it wasn't the cutting edge piece of tech that ASUS promised us, the phone itself came with just a qHD resolution display and the tablet dock was bulky and unsightly.
With the Padfone 2 however, ASUS has doubled down on their design and has made one nice looking Padfone. Not to mention the fact that the specs have taken a bump in the right direction as well, with this Padfone now going toe-to-toe with some of the high-end devices on shelves today. If you missed the announcement of the Padfone 2 and need a reminded of specs, we have you covered:
- 4.7" HD 1280—720 IPS+ Display at 550 nits bright thanks to Sharp's IGZO tech
- 1.5 Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro – 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!
As for the Padfone 2's docking station, it's a lot of the same from the previous model:
- 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!
This all makes for a really nice device and there's a lot that ASUS have improved upon, making the whole package a lot nicer overall. With the new quad-core CPU there's going to few problems when it comes to multitasking here and with 2GB of RAM you'll be able to do more than ever on the tablet or the phone. It's to ship with Ice Cream Sandwich but will receive an update to Jelly Bean at some point so, let's just hope that it's the 4.2 update that's just been pushed to the AOSP.
When it comes to pricing, the Padfone 2 still isn't all that cheap but it's certainly not as expensive; 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. Pre-orders for the device go on sale in Taiwan tomorrow and will be shipping around the 22nd. There's still no word on availability in the US but, I think this is one product ASUS will want to go global and if they decide otherwise, we're sure that there's a lot of retailers out there willing to import it and sell it you at a much higher cost.