Asus PadFone 2 docking handset/tablet combo curiosity hits phase two. We remained WTF’d

Asus PadFone 2 docking handset/tablet combo curiousity hits phase two

Asus are persisting with their curious PadFone range, which features a large smartphone that slides into a docking tablet, and have taken the wraps off their new Asus PadFone 2.

Asus PadFone 2 docking handset/tablet combo curiousity hits phase two

It’s a concept that we still can’t quite get our head around but the idea is that the phone exclusively powers the ‘dumb’ tablet, giving you a bigger screen (10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixels) and some extra battery life.

The Asus PadFone 2 smartphone is a pocket-strainer in itself, packing a 4.7-inch 720p Super IPS+ display protected by Corning Fit Glass, with   a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and 2GB of RAM inside.

Asus PadFone 2 docking handset/tablet combo curiousity hits phase two

Purring along on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (a Jelly Bean update has been promised), the phone sports an immense 13MP rear camera with LED flash and a 1.2MP front-facing camera for video calls.

The PadFone 2 employs micro-SIMs instead for 3G connectivity and also comes with NFC and 50GB of ASUS WebStorage for two years (after which they presumably start to rattle the cash tin your way).

Asus PadFone 2 docking handset/tablet combo curiousity hits phase two

Battery life is generous, with 2140mAh battery inside the handset and an additional 5000mAh battery inside the ‘Pad’ bit.

The handset on its tod weighs 135g, and when joined in holy tablet matrimony, the PadFone combo weighs in at a total of 649g.

We’ve got a load of respect for Asus – we think they’re far and away one of the most innovative tech companies around at the moment – but this is one concept that we simply don’t get. Why tie yourself to a specific tablet that only works with this one handset when you can tether any od tablet you like in a matter of seconds?

UK pricing and availability is yet to be announced.

Press release:

Live Life Intuitively with ASUS PadFone™ 2

Quad-core smartphone with incredible battery life and a thinner, lighter PadFone 2 Station 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 consists of a higher-specification quad-core smartphone and a completely redesigned tablet.

ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih unveiled PadFone 2 in front of the world’s media at a 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.

Enlarge and Charge

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 swift step to use. PadFone 2 has also been subtly refined to increase its screen size to 4.7″, while reducing its thickness and weight to just 9mm at its thickest point and 135g, respectively.
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 gives up to 36 hours 3G talk-time. PadFone 2 Station’s internal battery also has enough capacity to recharge the docked PadFone 2 three times over.

Super Phone, Super 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®.

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.

User-friendly enhancements

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.

Availability

PadFone 2 will be launched before the end of December 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.