Friday, October 19, 2012

Fresh Out The Labs : Asus Edition

Since Asus is one of the biggest computer and mobile device manufacturer, it is always interesting to see what new product they are going to come out with. In June of 2011, they announced a new device combo that had not been seen before : The Padfone. It is a smartphone that you can dock in the back of a tablet in a pretty neat way. Asus is definitely a leader when it comes to innovative designs and new form factors. This week, they revealed the Padfone 2 which looks to be improved in each and every way. 

The Padfone 2 and it's tablet dock

Making the phone’s screen bigger was surely a smart move since most new Android phones now ship with a screen that is around 4.5 inches big. The first Padfone’s screen was 4.3 inches with a resolution of 540x960 and is now 4.7 and 1280x720 with more than 300 DPI. The resolution of the tablet has not change from the first Padfone, but 1280x800 px still does the job. The way it docks to the tablet has been improved a lot, it docks in portrait instead of landscape and is made to withstand common mistreatment. That is why they now call it the super-shake dock. One of the other major improvement must be the performances powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM. The padfone will not ship with Android's newest version, it will run on Ice Cream Sandwich but it will surely be updated to JellyBean really soon. The new camera's resolution has been upped to an impressive 13 mega-pixels and the front-facing one is 1.2 Mpx. Like most new devices, it comes with NFC connectivity which is now kind of a must for Android devices. It will also support the LTE network which can be kind of demanding on battery power but the 2140 mAh battery can surely handle it. From my point of view, the only 2 things that could be improved on the Padfone is the lack of SD-card support and the fact that it uses a proprietary USB connector instead of the standard micro-USB cable that everyone is now used to. Asus did not revealed when it will be available in North America but my guess is any time before Christmas, partially because I think it would make an awesome gift.


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