Asus has launched its Padfone 2 hybrid Android device. Like the original, it consists of a smartphone handset that can slot into a tablet shell.
As we reported earlier in the month, the Padfone 2 differs from Asus’s first attempt by being a competitively specced Android smartphone in its own right.
It comes with a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display, which puts it firmly in HTC One X territory. It’s highly competitive on the power front too, with a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU and 2GB of RAM. Impressive.
Equally impressive is the Asus Padfone 2’s 13-megapixel camera with f/2.4 lens, which is well ahead of the current Android smartphone champs - at least in terms of raw pixels. We’ll have to see some images to judge its true photographic skills.
The handset will come in 16, 32 and 64GB models.
That’s all well and good, but the Padfone 2’s true USP is its 10-inch tablet add-on. This time it’s a lot thinner, addressing our biggest criticism of the first Padfone. There’s no clunky door mechanism either - the handset slots into the tablet add-on neatly (and vertically, this time).
Unfortunately this tablet add-on's display more or less matches the resolution of the handset's - which means it’s not particularly sharp by modern tablet standards. 1280 x 800 is decidedly last gen.
The Padfone 2 tablet dock’s battery has been shrunk in order to facilitate its thinner design - down from 6600mAh to 5000mAh. This is perhaps aided by the fact that the smartphone handset itself has a larger 2140mAh battery installed.
NFC and 4G come as standard, and the Padfone 2 runs on Android 4.0.4 out of the box. A Jelly Bean upgrade is promised in short order.
The Asus Padfone 2 will launch “before the end of 2012” in Europe and Asia, though as Engadget reports, anyone in Taiwan will be able to pick one up from next week.