Asus has launched the PadFone 2 at an event in Milan. For those not familiar with the first PadFone, it was an unusual device launched early last year, where a smartphone would combine with a tablet to create a single device. The PadFone 2 is an evolution of that device.
The smartphone is the brains and brawn behind the tablet, which is just a dormant shell until the phone is slotted into the rear panel, where upon it comes alive. Not only that, but certain apps — the gallery, the browser and streaming video for example — in use on the phone, instantly transfer over to the big screen when it connects.
It’s a device designed to bring users the best of both worlds in a convenient package, with an intuitive operating system and truly useful features. Asus hasn’t forgotten about the hardware either, as the smartphone boasts a 1.5GHz, quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 4.7-inch HD touchscreen and a 13 megapixel camera.
The tablet has a 10.1-inch HD screen, plus a 5000mAh battery that not only powers the device when the smartphone is docked, but charges it up too. Thanks to its massive capacity, it can do this three times before needing a recharge itself.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the operating system currently installed, but 4.1 Jelly Bean should be ready for December. Asus doesn’t expect the PadFone 2 to go on sale in the UK until early next year, so there’s a chance Jelly Bean could be its standard OS by that time.
Of course, with this much tech and hardware involved, you know it’s not going to be cheap. The PadFone 2 comes as a package, so you get the smartphone and the tablet together, and the 32GB version has a 799 euro price tag (about £650) and the 64GB version is 899 euros, or about £730.
That’s a lot to pay, but Asus makes a point of reminding those who think the price is too high, that it’s a lot less than you’d pay for a top-end quad-core smartphone and a standalone tablet. They make a good point, as a Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 combo would come close to £1000.
Will it be a hit? Only time will tell, but the PadFone 2 is definitely worth checking out.