updated 07:02 am EDT, Tue October 16, 2012
Padfone 2 dock slimmer than before, loses keyboard
ASUS has announced a follow-up to its PadFone Android smartphone and tablet dock. The PadFone 2 has a number of upgrades compared to its predecessor, the biggest of which being its larger 4.7-inch screen that docks into a slimmer and lighter 10.1-inch tablet, complete with 1,280x800 IPS display, though it does notably lose the extra keyboard attachment.
The original dual-core processor used on the PadFone has been replaced by a quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM, alongside the 1,280x720 Super IPS+ display that's protected by Corning Fit Glass, and can deliver 550 nits of brightness. A 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with a 100-shot Burst Mode can hit six shots per second, and can also capture 1080p HD video at 30fps or 720p HD video at 60fps.
Battery life for the PadFone 2 on its own stands at a claimed 16 hours of 3G talk-time, with the docking station's 5000mAh battery giving support for up to 36 hours. The dock's internal battery has the capacity to recharge the PadFone 2's 2140mAh battery up to three times over, though this claim is presumably when the dock itself isn't being used.
Storage is provided by the PadFone 2's up to 64GB of memory, the dock itself not being used to store anything. A 50GB account for ASUS WebStorage is provided free for two years, and the handset has support for up to 42Mbit/s through DC-HSPA+ and 100Mbit/s over LTE, as well as Wi-Fi.
Areas of Europe and Asia will receive the PadFone 2 at first, with an expected launch in December for between $620 and $750 on its own, while a version with the dock will cost around $210 extra. A US release has not been revealed as of yet.