At an event in Taiwan earlier today ASUS CEO Jerry Shen unveiled the new Padfone 2. A revamped version of its Padfone, which made its original debut in April 2012. The smartphone and station have both gone under the knife.
The smartphone’s undergone an OS redesign and the station’s had much of its fat trimmed such as the unnecessary battery space which has now been done away with. This all adds up to net weight of 649g, trimming a significant 205g from the original, making it lighter than the iPad.
Engadget has released more information on both devices, the smartphone is now running Ice Cream Sandwich, with ASUS stating that an upgrade to Jellybean will soon be available. Other improvements see an increased 4.7-inch 720p IPS+ display courtesy of Sharp IGZO and built-in NFC and LTE functionality.
The smartphone has also been upgraded to utilise Qualcomm’s extremely powerful APQ8064Snapdragon chipset. Improved point-and-shoot features sees a 13MP camera in the rear and 1.2MP camera in front. All these refinements add up to quite a powerful smartphone that can easily hold its own against the top players in the market.
ASUS has retained the station’s 10.1-inch display, but slimmed down battery size to 5000mAH from 6 600mAH accounts for the vast difference in weight. The final important change sees ASUS do away with its 40-pin connection and dual-plug configuration, opting instead for an obtuse 13-pin connection. This should not be a problem however, as it is micro-USB compatible.
Offering two purchasing options of smartphone only or smartphone-station combo, the suggested pricing for the latter should range from US$830 to US$960 covering the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB variants.
Unfortunately no definitive release date has been set for the Padfone 2 + Station, but considering the impressive refinements that have been made, it will be a strong competitor.
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