Asus has taken the wraps off the latest avatar of its pathbreaking Padfone - the smartphone-and-tablet combo
bundle. Dubbed the Padfone 2, the smartphone element - which is the cardinal component of the duo - now boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core chip, clocked at 1.5GHz and 2 gigs of RAM to power it and a 4.7-inch (1280 x 720 resolution, 312 pixels per inch) Super IPS+ display.
While the operating system still lingers
on Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) 4.0, an upgrade to Jelly Bean is in the offering.
The accompanying thinner and lighter Padfone 2 tablet dock station now touts a 10.1-inch IPS (1280 x 800 resolution, WXGA, 149 pixels per inch) display.
The 2140mAh battery of the phone is rated to offer a talktime of 16 hours over 3G networks. It also comes with 50GB of free Asus WebStorage for two years.
The internal 5,000mAh battery (down from the 6,600 mAh battery in the original Padfone) in the tablet is claimed to nearly triple a docked Padfone 2 handset's battery life.
The 135gm device is specced with a 13-megapixel rear camera and 1-megapixel front camera.
The rear autofocus camera with a f/2.4 aperture is capable of 100 continuous full-resolution shots at six frames per second, an LED flash, and a 1.2-megapixel front camera.
The main camera is capable of recording 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second (fps) and 720p HD video at an impressive 60 fps.
Launched in black and white hues, the Padfone 2 will be available both as a standalone phone and along with the tablet dock.
It will be sold in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities and is slated to hit the Taiwan market by the end of this month, with plans to land in other countries by December.
Prices will range from between $600 to $750 for the handset, with an additional $200 for the tablet option. Launch dates and pricing for India are yet to be announced.(The writer is a regular contributor to Gadgets & Gizmos)