ASUS today announces the second-generation PadFone 2, which builds upon the combination of an Android smartphone and dockable tablet. The first PadFone was officially unveiled at MWC 2012 this year with the same premise: the tablet/smartphone hybrid device was to come with a 4.3-inch screen and a 10.1-inch tablet dock extension. ASUS has since refined the experience in the second iteration, boasting of a higher-specification quad-core smartphone and a redesigned tablet.
In a nutshell, the PadFone 2 is an Android 4.0 smartphone with a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 HD Super IPS+ display that docks with the unique PadFone 2 Station to become a lightweight, but fully featured 10.1-inch tablet. To ensure speedy and all-round high quality performance, the PadFone 2 has also been upgraded to feature a speedy 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and a new 13-megapixel camera with a wide f/2.4 aperture.
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 step to use. Apps are seamlessly optimized on-the-fly to support both tablet and phone modes. Shared mobile data connectivity between smartphone and tablet also means that just one data plan is needed for both devices, with support for up to 42Mbit/s DC-HSPA+ and 100Mbit/s LTE connectivity.
The higher-capacity PadFone 2 2140mAh battery provides up to 16 hours 3G talk time, while PadFone 2 Station’s 5000mAh battery extends talk time to up to 36 hours by recharging the PadFone battery at the same time. Prices and availability will be announced at a later time.