The Double Life of the ASUS Padfone 2
Yesterday evening, we were invited by ASUS to attend the launch of the Padfone 2. The successor to the Padfone, the Padfone 2 looks and feels different due to the complete revamp of both, the phone and its docking station.
To help us understand this dual-functioning device a little better that evening was Li Huai Pin, Country Product Manager for ASUS Malaysia. Throughout the event, Mr. Li presented us with a basic layout of the Padfone 2's simplicity and what has changed in comparison to its first-generation predecessor. Mr. Li also further illustrated the Padfone 2's functionality with the screening of two short videos.
After the presentation, we headed towards the designated demo zone, where we got a chance to get up-close and personal with this glorious device.
The Padfone 2 consists of both, a smartphone and a docking station which transforms the phone into a tablet. The mobile device itself is a 4.7” smartphone which runs on Android's 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system. While this may set off alarms among ASUS Padfone supporters and fans alike, we did get assurance during and after the presentation from Mr. Li himself that the Padfone 2 will most definitely be getting a Jelly Bean upgrade within a week after its launch.
As we mentioned earlier, the Padfone 2 is a completely different ball game compared to its predecessor. Docking connectors are now on the bottom of the phone instead of on the side and the phone now slides in vertically instead of being slotted in horizontally. The flap which was found on the first Padfone is now gone, replaced with a 'flap-less' back and fitted with a very grippy latex material which holds and secures the phone firmly in place.
The docking station for the Padfone 2 is pretty much the same 10.1” screen that lights up once the 4.7” phone is docked into it. Once slotted in, the device takes approximately 1 second to boot up from phone to tablet.
Inside, ASUS has upped the ante and fitted the Padfone 2 with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor running in tandem with an Adreno 320 GPU as well. Coupled with 2GB of RAM, the Padfone 2 is on par, if not better than other high-end smartphones currently on the market. In lieu of that, this powerhouse is actually LTE-ready, meaning that the Padfone 2 will benefit from 4G transmissions and capabilities should and when mobile service providers begin rolling out 4G packages in Malaysia. While the Padfone 2 comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variations with no expendable storage, only the 32GB model will be available in Malaysia.
ASUS has gone to great lengths to ensure that the Padfone 2 stays as light as possible while maintaining a great deal of durability. The end result is the Padfone 2 weighs only 649g when combined together with its docking station, which by any measure is phenomenally much lighter than any other tablet of equivalent size out on the market. In addition to this, ASUS claims that the combination of phone and docking station will provide a maximum of 36 hours of 3G talk-time. More than enough for you to catch up on the latest gossip, craze or even web chat with your significant other.
One of biggest selling points of the Padfone 2 is its 13MP camera. This camera utilizes a sensor which can be found on Sony cameras and is capable of 1080p video recording and playback quality. By our standards, this is a rarity considering the industry standard for smartphone cameras at the moment stands at 8MP for high-end smartphones.
The ASUS Padfone 2 is available in Black and White, with the latter only available on the market from January next year. Pricing for the Padfone 2 starts at RM2799.
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