After the usual rush of leaks over the last week or so, Asus’ CEO Jerry Shen took to the stage this morning at a special event in Taipei to officially unveil the latest version of the PadFone.
The original PadFone had it’s critics but Asus claim they have been listening to criticisms and have worked for the last two years to refine this model.
The results of this work are pretty striking and have resulted in two svelte devices with a premium look and feel.
In an altogether slimmer design, the phone part of the combo now just slides into a receiver at the back of the tablet rather than being loaded into a bay behind a securing door as on the first PadFone.
The phone now has a wedge shape design, 9mm at it’s largest point narrowing down to just 3mm at it’s thinest. Keeping pace with the latest phones such as the LG Optimus G, the Padfone comes with a Quad Core Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB’s of RAM and a 13MP camera at the rear. It is also packing a 720p, 4.7″ Super IPS+ display. At launch it will be running ICS but Asus is promising an update to Jellybean in short order.
The tablet end of things has no brains so to speak. As before, the phone powers everything but the tablet does include a 5000mAh battery which charges the phone’s battery once docked. Combined the total weight comes in at 649 grams which is a good deal lighter than the original PadFone. The phone on it’s own weighs 135 grams. The 10.1″ display has a resolution of 1280 x 800 which is only a fraction better than the phone itself (1280 x 720) which is slightly disappointing but is indicative of how far phone displays have come of late.
Another reason for the tablet’s display not being too high end is probably the overall price. This will be the kicker for most. The 32GB version will be €799 with the 64GB version coming in at €899. At those prices it’s hard to see them flying off the shelves. If you are in the market for a new phone and tablet they will make for a compelling choice but without a network subsidy they will probably be outside most people’s budget.
Let us know what you think.