The Asus Padfone is a potentially very clever idea. It combines a smartphone with a tablet, such that the smartphone can exist by itself but may be extended into a tablet (and typically a full size, 10-inch model) by connecting and attaching it to the rest of the chassis. The tablet body typically contains a battery, which may be used to recharge the smartphone and of course drive the larger screen of the tablet body. It’s a different take on the concept of a “transformer tablet,” which in most senses means a tablet that may be converted into a laptop arrangement by attaching a keyboard dock. Asus have released a number of different Padfone models and the last was the Padfone S, which is from early 2014. This model, the Asus Padfone S, is based around a quad core, 2.3 GHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor paired up to 2 GB of RAM. The Padfone S also comes with a 5.0-inch, 1080p resolution IPS LCD panel, a 13MP rear camera plus 4G LTE. The battery is relatively small at 2,300 mAh, but this may be recharged by the full size tablet dock.
At the time, the Snapdragon 801 was the flagship Qualcomm System-on-Chip as used in handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 (albeit in 2.5 GHz form) and HTC One M8. Rolling the clock forward and earlier in the year, Asus didn’t release an updated Padfone. Now it appears that the company are preparing a new Padfone model, the S2, to be released in the first half of 2016. This new Padfone S2 will be based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, which we expect to be the flagship System-on-Chip from the American semiconductor manufacturer. The leaked specification for the Padfone S2 show that it’s going to be flagship grade: in addition to the Snapdragon 820, it’ll come with a 1440p (or QHD) 5.5-inch display, contain a 3,060 mAh battery, have 4 GB of RAM with either 32 GB or 64 GB of internal memory. Around the back, there will be a 20.7MP rear camera together with an 8MP front facing camera for selfies and video calling. The tablet chassis will contain a 5,100 mAh battery and a 10-inch display, but we do not have any additional information about the tablet body.
At the moment, we are not expecting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 to be available until March 2016 and so if the new Padfone S2 rumors are correct, it means we won’t see the new device until the end of the first quarter or, more likely, in the second quarter. However, the concept of a Padfone is an interesting one and Asus are experienced putting together such a combination. This is a developing story and we still have over six months to go until we might expect the device to be released; we will let you know when we receive any more news.