This morning at events in Milan, Italy and Taipei, Taiwan, ASUS has announced its second-generation phone and tablet hybrid device, the Padfone 2. Like the original Padfone, it's an Android phone which can slot into a tablet dock to deliver a full-blown tablet experience. Time time around, ASUS has boosted specs throughout the device, including an upgrade of the CPU to a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip. The device also packs 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a 4.7-inch, 720p IPS display, matching the specs of leading Android phones like the LG Optimus G.
Unlike the first-generation Padfone, the Padfone 2 fits inside its tablet dock without needing to be secured in place with a door. What's more, the weight of the entire package has been reduced to 649 grams, down from 853 grams in the original. On-stage in Milan today, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih demonstrated the same seamless transition from phone to tablet UI, just as we saw from the original Padfone at Mobile World Congress.
On the software side, it's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with an upgrade to Jelly Bean promised in the future. Connectivity options include NFC and 4G LTE support, though no carriers were mentioned at today's events.
The device will ship in Europe and Asia before the end of the year, in 32 and 64GB flavors, which will retail for €799 and €899 respectively with the tablet dock included. At this price, the new Padfone remains a niche product, but ASUS will be hoping that a focus on hardware specifications and a slimmed-down tablet chassis will help the Padfone 2 succeed where its predecessor stumbled.
Anyone tempted by ASUS's latest Padfone iteration? Shout out in the comments! We've got more images after the break.
Live Life Intuitively with ASUS PadFone™ 2
The latest Smartphone technology features incredible battery life and a thinner, lighter PadFone™ 2 Station to deliver the ultimate mobile flexibility.
Milan, Italy (October 16, 2012) — ASUS, a global leader in the new digital era, today announces the PadFone™ 2. Building upon the successful PadFone combination of an Android smartphone and dockable tablet for incredible mobile flexibility, PadFone 2 features the latest quad-core smartphone technology and a completely redesigned tablet.
ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih unveiled the PadFone 2 at a world-wide press conference in Milan, Italy. "Our relentless drive to innovate through Design Thinking has empowered us to create PadFone 2. It's beautiful, it's fast, it's seamless and, best of all, it's intuitive," said Mr. Shih.
PadFone 2 is a fully featured 4.7" Android™ smartphone with industry-leading specifications that docks with the unique PadFone 2 Station to become a lightweight, but fully featured, 10.1" tablet. Apps are seamlessly optimized on-the-fly to support both tablet and phone modes, with an instant transition between smartphone and tablet screen sizes.
Portability with Power to Spare
ASUS' world-renowned Design Thinking philosophy has significantly reduced PadFone 2 Station's thickness and weight. At just 649g, the combined weight of both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station is now lighter than most tablets on the market, and the dock mechanism has been redesigned to require just one easy dock or undock action. PadFone 2 has also been subtly refined to increase its screen size to 4.7", while reducing its maximum thickness to 9mm and weight to just 135g.
Battery life is astounding, too. The higher-capacity PadFone 2 2140mAh battery provides up to 16 hours 3G talk-time and 13 hours Wi-Fi web browsing, while PadFone 2 Station's 5000mAh battery provides up to 36 hours of 3G talk-time. PadFone 2 Station's internal battery also has enough capacity to fully recharge the docked PadFone 2 up to three times.
Smartphone, Smarter Performance
A 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM ensures incredible PadFone 2 performance in both smartphone and tablet modes. The new 4.7" 1280 x 720 HD Super IPS+ display uses scratch-resistant Corning® Fit Glass and delivers sharp, detailed images with accurate colors, ultra-wide viewing angles and 550 nits brightness for stunning outdoor visibility.
A new 13-megapixel high-performance camera captures incredibly detailed images with no shutter lag. Burst mode can capture up to 100 shots at a blisteringly quick six shots per second, while simultaneously recording 1080p HD video at 30fps, or 720p HD video at 60fps. Low-light performance is also enhanced by the wide f/2.4 aperture and a dedicated image signal processor. Both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station feature superlative sound quality too, thanks to ASUS SonicMaster technology and audio tuning by Waves, recipient of a Technical GRAMMY Award® for audio design.
Easy to Share, Easy to Save
With capacities up to 64GB and 50GB of ASUS WebStorage provided free for two years, PadFone 2 offers endless possibilities for storing data. Data syncing between devices is also a thing of the past, since PadFone 2 storage is used by PadFone 2 Station when the two are connected. Shared mobile data connectivity between smartphone and tablet also means just one data plan is needed for both devices, while support for up to 42Mbit/s DC-HSPA+ and 100Mbit/s LTE delivers super-fast web browsing and downloads.
PadFone 2 also features a new version of the SuperNote app that instantly converts handwritten notes made in multiple languages into editable text. Its Instant Translation tool also translates any word, phrase or sentence in an email, web page or app at a touch, without the need for a third-party translation tool.
PadFone 2 will be launched before the end of 2012 in Europe (Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden) and Asia (Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, U.A.E). Availability in other countries will be announced at a later date.
PADFONE 2 SPECIFICATIONS
HSPA+ (DL: 21Mbit/s, 42Mbit/s (optional) / UL: 5.76Mbit/s)
LTE (DL: 100Mbit/s / UL: 50Mbit/s)
Android 4.04 ICS (upgradeable to Jelly Bean shortly)
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (8064 + 9215m) quad-core Cortex A15 class (1.5GHz) with Adreno 320 graphics
Storage / memory
16GB / 32GB / 64GB eMMC Flash / 2GB LPDDR2 RAM
Black / White
802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0 & NFC (mobile payment function is optional and by specific regions only)
3.5mm audio jack, Micro SIM
ASUS 13-pin dock connector (supports Micro-USB 2.0 & Mobile High-Definition Link for HDMI connection)
A-GPS & GLONASS
4.7" (1280 x 720) / 312ppi
Super IPS+ (550 nits)
Scratch-resistant Corning® Fit Glass with HCLR Film (anti-fingerprint coating)
13MP BSI Sensor Sony Camera, f/2.4 Aperture,
five-element lens, auto focus with LED flash
G-sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, gyro sensor, e-compass
2140mAh Li-Polymer (non-removable)
Up to 16 hours with 3G (LTE under qualification testing)
Up to 352 hours with 3G (LTE under qualification testing)
HTTP / Google browser / YouTube browser / Facebook / Google+
SMS / MMS / email / IM
Video Playback: MPEG4/H.264/H.263/WMV @ HD 1080p
Video Recording: MPEG4/H.263 @ HD 1080p / 60fps @ 720p
H.264 Video Decode @ 720p / Video Encode @1080p
H.264 / Ogg / Theora / MPEG4 / WMV / 3GP
JPEG / PNG / GIF / BMP
MP3 / WMA / 3GP / AAC / AAC+
137.9 x 69 x 9mm
PADFONE 2 STATION SPECIFICATIONS
Black / White
10.1" (1280 x 800, WXGA), 149ppi
IPS with capacitive multi-touch
Scratch-resistant Corning® Fit Glass with HCLR Film (anti-fingerprint coating)
1MP front camera
13MP via PadFone 2 rear camera
3.5mm audio jack via PadFone 2
ASUS 13-pin dock connector (Micro-USB 2.0 Host)
External phone antenna
Wi-Fi & BT, GSM, WCDMA, & LTE receiver diversity
High-quality speaker with ASUS SonicMaster technology
All specifications are subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors. Content and product availability varies by country and coverage areas, and is subject to change. Brand and product names mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies.
ASUS, the world's top 3 consumer notebook vendor and the maker of the world's best-selling and most award winning motherboards, is a leading enterprise in the new digital era. ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today's digital home, office and person, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, displays, desktops, Eee Box and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, tablet devices, servers, multimedia and wireless solutions, networking devices, and mobile phones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 3,886 awards in 2011, and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with the Eee PC™. With a global staff of more than 11,000 and a world-class R&D team of 3,100 engineers, the company's revenue for 2011 was around US$11.9 billion.
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