Asus Padfone 2 launched – Android smartphone-tablet hybrid gets boosted specs

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.

padfone 2 2

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.

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