After the leaks began exactly one month ago, ASUS has just made the ASUS PadFone official in Taiwan and Milan. If you have missed what the PadFone 2 is about, here’s a quick overview: the PadFone concept is a smartphone that can turn into a 10.1″ (1280×800) tablet called PadFone Station, by snapping the phone into a tablet shell. While the phone is connected to the PadFone station, it gets charged at the same time, thanks to the 5000mAh tablet battery.
The ASUS PadFone 2 comes with a 2140mAh battery (not user replaceable), a 4.7″ (1280×720, 550 nits) Super IPS+ display a Snapdragon S4 Pro (+external modem), which is one of the fastest chip available right now. In the back, there is a 13 Megapixel camera with a large f2.4 aperture, which should perform nicely in low-light. The fact that the camera can capture video at 60FPS in 720p caught my attention as 60FPS can make a huge difference, especially for sports videos.
As we said earlier, the PadFone Station is a 10.1″ tablet shell that is also equipped with an IPS display and a pair of cameras (1 Megapixel and 13 Megapixel). It has a 3.5mm audio and a proprietary ASUS 13-pin connector. Interestingly, the PadFone Station also serves as an antenna booster for the phone and has extended antennas for all the radios, including WiFi, GSM, WCDMA and LTE. Finally, the Pad Station has its own speaker system which ASUS says is “high-quality”.
Here’s the availability notes from the ASUS press release: ” PadFone 2 will be launched before the end of 2012 in Europe (Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden) and Asia (Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, U.A.E). Availability in other countries will be announced at a later date.”
Also, keep in mind that because there are 41 LTE bands in the world, each country may require a different hardware, so that’s why it takes time to build new models and get approved by the local authorities.
In the end, ASUS has come up with an impressive concept, which is nicely designed and implemented. Let’s hope that the economics work out too! Talking about this, the prices mentioned during the Taiwanese launch, prices go from around $650 for the non-contract version. The PadFone Station costs around $200 – and keep in mind that there is an IPS display and a 5000mAh battery in there. What do you think?