Asus today pulled the covers off its latest Padfone model, the logically named Padfone 2. With details revealed at an earlier press event in Taipai, a joyous Jonney Shih, Asus chairman, took to the stage in Milan to unveil the latest smartphone-tablet combo.
Headlining the specs is a 4.7-inch 720p Super IPS+ display topped with Corning Fit Glass on the phone part, matching the sort of specs you'll find on the flagship HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III Android smartphones.
"We want to bring the most seamless and incredible digital experience to our consumers", said Shih, talking about Asus's aims.
Pulling the Padfone 2 from his pocket, Shih added: "Beauty is not an act of God, but the work of perfectionists."
Internally, the Padfone 2 is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and backed by 2GB of RAM, with 32GB or 64GB of internal memory. The Padfone will be available with LTE, but there's no word on whether it will be compatible with EE's 4G LTE network in the UK.
Going big on the camera as well, the Padfone 2 comes with a 13-megapixel sensor on the rear, supported by an LED flash, offering full HD video capture. There is a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera in place for all that video calling, or candid self-portraiture.
The internal battery is rated at 2140mAh, which should see you through most of the day, with Asus claiming 16 hours of talktime, 13 hours of browsing on Wi-Fi or 9 hours of video.
The Asus Padfone 2 will launch with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Asus has a good track record of OS updates, being quick off the mark to update the likes of the Transformer tablets, so you'll be pleased to hear there is an upgrade to Jelly Bean promised in the not too distant future.
But the Padfone 2 wouldn't be the Padfone if it didn't come with the pad part, in this case a companion display into which the "fone" slips. Using the smartphone's power, the "Station" will give you a larger display when you want to watch that Netflix movie on the big screen.
The Station will give you a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 pixel resolution panel and an additional 5000mAh battery. This battery will extend the life of your phone by 3x.
The Station weighs 514g, bringing the total docked weight to 649g, which is pretty impressive.
This is the second Padfone that Asus has launched, the original being unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2012 in February, link above.
There is currently no word on UK prices or release dates, but the 64GB version will retail at €899 and the 32GB model at €799.
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