back to article Asus doubles up phone-slate combo's specs with Padfone 2

Asus has refreshed its three-in-one smartphone, tablet and notebook concept and unveiled the all-new Padfone 2. As with many products that take far too long to materialise, the original Padfone was a great idea on paper that never quite lived up to its hype. By the time it was eventually launched, at Mobile World Congress (MWC …


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  1. Egons Proton Pack
    Thumb Up

    Never seen that before to be honest, I think it's a nice idea.

    There are downsides I suppose but I like it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Great concept but the execution is not what people want.

  2. Greg 24
    Thumb Up

    OK - what's not to like here? Decent spec, good camera....does the pad bit have it's own battery as well or does it ll run off the phone.

    If this is available on contract in a few months I may well be tempted....

    1. Caleb Cox (Written by Reg staff)

      Yep the tablet part has its own battery, this is what was reduced down to 5000mAh. The handset itself packs a 2140mAh battery.

    2. tmTM

      Whats not to like here?

      The main problem is you have two objects but you can only ever use one at a time. If I'm going to carry a tablet around with me it would be nice for it to work independently.

      It seems like a good idea on paper, but in reality you have a phone and a ten inch square of plastic, or a tablet and no phone.

      For the price it can't be far off having a Nexus 7 and a GS3

      1. Andy Nugent

        Re: Whats not to like here?

        But if you see them both as your personal devices, do you need to be able to use them both at the same time?

        For me the main two advantages are (1) I only pay for one SIM & (2) when I plug my phone into the tablet over lunch / on a train / whatever my phone gets recharged from the tablets battery (Admittedly, I'm presuming that's the case on the Padfone2, as that's how the Padfone one worked when I saw it demoed at MWC).

        Plus other benefits like watching a video / playing games / writing an email / etc. on the tablet and you can then just carry on with the phone.

  3. Bassey

    Big screen Mistake

    I'm not sure why they've gone for a massive screen on the phone - other than the fact that everyone else is doing it. Isn't the point of having a combined phone and tablet that you slot the phone into the tablet for when you need a large screen (playing games, watching films etc) but still have the convenience of a small, discreet smartphone to carry about with you?

    They seem to have missed the ENTIRE point of the device in order to tick one of their marketing departments current must have check-boxes. It is such a shame because, if you could stick this in a 3.5" screened device with a 480x800 display you'd need a smaller slot on the pad leaving room for a bigger battery.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Big screen Mistake


      Agreed, the phone component wouldn't even need to be a touch-screen affair. As long it gave 3G connectivity to the tablet, the phone could be as you say, small and discreet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Big screen Mistake

        " the phone component wouldn't even need to be a touch-screen affair"

        That might be taking it a bit far... if it's too much of a brick without being docked then you'll have to carry the big screen around everywhere.

    2. Nuno

      Re: Big screen Mistake

      I would like to see a modular design like this but, instead of a phone sloting into the tablet, a compute module sloting into a small screen (making it a phone) or a big screen (making it a tablet)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: a compute module

        I can't find a link for it, but there was a company that came out with a concept design along those lines - a bit like a Cotton Candy, key fob looking ARM module that would slot into a phone, tablet or netbook form factor. I don't think they ever got out of the rendering stage but they could still be out there somewhere.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a phablet ...

    ... more of a tablerone

  5. Dave 126 Silver badge

    interesting but...

    The main reason I can think of combining the phone and tablet is to save on otherwise duplicated components, such as the cellular radio, and secondary benefits include only needing one SIM, and bookmarks etc are the same across both devices. Tertiary benefit is that (I asssume) dock acts as portable battery pack for the phone. All good things.

    Downsides are that you seem only to be getting one-and-a-half devices for not much less than the price of two devices, and that the tablet part is tied to a specific phone.

    Now, if they could make the phone component simpler and possibly 'clam-shell' or 'candy-bar' in form, they would have a package that is easy to use- the phone would have nice big buttons and work well as a phone, the tablet a much, much easier way to browse the internet and tap out an email or SMS.

    I regularly drink with people who are not technophobes, but their eyesight and digital (as in fingers) dexterity means that smartphones aren't an good solution for them*. Clam-shell + 7" would appear to be an ideal combo for this group, and they have a bit of spare income to spend.

    *People could operate old Nokias 'blind', since the menu items had numbers, and fingers could feel the buttons.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: interesting but...

      Hmm.... but the combining the "brains" bit is important here -- I don't recall ever seeing a non-smart Android phone. A) The software doesn't exist. B) Would you honestly want a non-smart phone with the battery life of a smartphone (cos it's going to have to run off a smartphone processor anyway.

      And in the end, why would you really need a dock? You can pick up a non-smart phone for a tenner in carphone warehouse -- the price of the docking mechanism is alone is going to be more than that, so your chosen target audience is going to be better served buying an independent phone+tablet.

      The solution that YOU are looking for is a non-smart phone with 3G for modem purposes when coupled with a tablet. It doesn't need to dock, because Bluetooth will reach from your pocket to the table in front....

      1. Bassey

        Re: interesting but...

        "I don't recall ever seeing a non-smart Android phone. A) The software doesn't exist. B) Would you honestly want a non-smart phone with the battery life of a smartphone"

        There is no reason why not. I've recently setup a couple of Android phones for elderly regulars in our pub. I stuck on a special launcher that just has six big buttons. Call - SMS - email - Contacts - Browser - Apps. Each of the first four launch specially adapted apps with large fonts and a keyboard than can be zoomed in and out. The browser launches the standard browser and the Apps takes you to a standard app drawer giving you access to everything.

        The point is that there is already software to make Android work for the elderly/poor-of-sight. It would be a very simple matter to make a launcher that worked well for a candy-bar, with nice big icons and a number driven menu system. And with a smaller non-touch screen and more room for a battery the battery life would be greatly improved even with a tablet processor. In any case, power-profiles are also easily doable. Under-clock the CPU when in candy-bar mode, whack it back up when it gets docked into the toblerphone mode.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: interesting but...

        @The Indomitable Gall

        Hiya, welcome to the discussion. You raise some good points. You're right, for what I'm talking about, a dumb phone plus independent 7" tablet is probably the way to go. Having now thought about it, I can't think of a compelling reason to dock a dumbphone...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    price in the Euroland

    900 / 800 EUR, a true bargain for a phone. Grab while stocks last!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The tablet screen resolution is too low. All it really provides is an easier to use typing experience or bigger screen, whoopee.

    Carrying around a bluetooth keyboard would be an easier and cheaper way to make typing easier. Then just move your head closer to the screen to make it bigger.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Er yeah...

      >Then just move your head closer to the screen to make it bigger.

      That might work for someone with 20/20 vision, or even short-sight. Unfortunately, that is not true of all people. It is a general trend that as your body ages, your eye muscles become weaker and your lens less elastic, limiting eyesight from both ends. I hope you live long enough to experience this yourself one day.

      Agreed, a keyboard (be it Bluetooth or Motorola Atrix style formfactor) would probably be a better solution if the user wishes to bash out emails, but if they just want to check the cricket score a 7" screen alone will do the trick.

      1. Carl Williams

        Re: Er yeah...

        If the original is anything to go by this will have a keyboard too.

        The original was very good (we had a couple at work) but not being available on a contract and costing nearly £600 lessens it's appeal.

        Operators needed to pickup the (actually very nice handset) and offer it on a contract leaving the user free to purchase the tablet dock and/or keyboard if they wanted or needed them.

  8. damien c

    Oh Deap Watch Out Asus

    Asus need to watch out as that phone looks similar to the Iphone and could land them in court for it looking like the Iphone.

    1. Afflicted.John

      Re: Oh Deap Watch Out Asus

      Looks nothing like the mad fool!

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: Oh Deap Watch Out Asus

        You clearly don't know the difference between a right angle and a rounded corner....

        1. Afflicted.John

          Re: Oh Deap Watch Out Asus

          Yes I do! Under patent law they are have edges and are therefore patently patentable.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh Deap Watch Out Asus

        and that 'joke' has been told before.

  9. Afflicted.John
    Thumb Up

    It looks like a great bit of kit - the phone in its own right looks brilliant. Not sure about the pricing but with LTE chippery running the full gamut, it will be UK 4G ready for everyone to go with whoever they wish come the 4G bunfight.

    Interesting to see what Expansys price conversion will be like... I reckon £600 minimum for the 32GB.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    Ice cream sandwich? Dead on arrival....

    1. Santonia

      Re: Oh dear

      For all our benefit, would you mind listing all the devices available to buy which come pre-installed with Android Jelly Bean?



  11. John Robson Silver badge

    Still waiting for a candybar phone with WiFi-3G bridge

    Although bluetooth is an interesting option.

    I'm off hunting

    1. Wam

      Re: Still waiting for a candybar phone with WiFi-3G bridge

      Agreed, this is the missing device I'd buy that would give WiFi (or bluetooth) 3G connectivity to a tablet / Notebook / Kindle, but be little more than a caller / texter otherwise.

    2. Anomalous Cowturd

      Re: Still waiting for a candybar phone with WiFi-3G bridge

      My trusty semi-retired 6310i could pair and share internet to my Palm TungstenT5 PDA over Bluetooth in about 2005...

      Or IR if I remember correctly.

      Shame about Palm...

  12. zanto
    Thumb Up

    if only

    Samsung used the quad krait and adreno 320 in it's note2.

    i really like the note2, and tbh, quad core krait is overkill, but seeing how sammy apparantly left no stone unturned in the note2, one must wonder why they didn't pick the best silicon for a phone they didn't want to compromize on?

    having waited for this phone to be annonced, i am dissapointed with:

    1) non expandable memory, something i could overlook if OTG works

    2) no pen support like the note2

    other than that, this and the optimus G seem to be the new kings of the block.

  13. maccy

    should i call it ...

    a phablet? or a tone?

  14. b166er

    Apparently no keyboard with the Padfone 2?


  15. Radiodoc

    Watch out for Yankee Hegemony

    With Asus TF101 Tablet & I expect their other Tablets & devices, and other manufacturers too - they'll be limited to Wi-Fi Channels 1 thro to 11 - which ain't much good for people travelling to {say} Japan!!

    My Chinese made Lenovo Netbooks cover Channels 1 to 13, BUT my Yankee hegemony infested IBM T60p's can only go 1 to 11 and the 5Ghz band!

    Guess WHICH type I take to Japan ?!??!!

    Helpful tip - the name begins with an "L" !!!

  16. zanto

    they'll have to drop the price now

    this has little to offer over the LG Nexus 4. maybe Asus can charge extra for the extended hardware.

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