ASUS caused a bit of a ripple in the industry when it revealed its PadFone smartphone-in-a-tablet hybrid back in May 2011. Now the company has chosen to launch the latest addition to the PadFone line at Mobile World Congress. The LTE-capable PadFone Infinity handset offers users up to 19 hours of 3G talk time, that gets increased to 40 hours when docked in its Infinity Station. The Spanish spotlight is also shining on a new 7-inch phablet called the Fonepad.
First up, let's have a closer look at the PadFone Infinity, which comes with its own 10.1-inch tablet dock. Sporting an aerospace-grade aluminum unibody design with brushed metal finish, the LTE smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor running at 1.7 GHz, with an Adreno 320 GPU, supported by 2 GB of low power DDR2 RAM and 64 GB of storage. ASUS has also sweetened the deal with 50 GB of cloud storage at the company's WebStorage vault for two years.
The Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) Infinity features 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC technology, in addition to support for 3G and LTE mobile networks. Specs for 143.5 x 72.8 x 8.9-mm (5.6 x 2.8 x 0.3-inch), 141 g (4.9 oz) phone include a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution (441 pixels-per-inch) Super IPS+ multi-touch panel, and a 2,400 mAh Li-pol battery. There's a 2-megapixel autofocus cam at the front and a mighty 13-megapixel f/2.0 camera to the back, the latter promising up to eight frames per second burst shooting while simultaneously recording 1080p video.
The 264.6 x 181.6 x 10.6-mm (10.4 x 7.1 x 0.4-inch), 530 g (18.6 oz) Infinity station dock has a 10.1-inch Full HD Super IPS+ display, gets a front-facing camera only, but benefits from a 5,000 mAh Li-pol battery.
Initially available in Taiwan from April, rollout to other countries will follow in Q2. We've been quoted a suggested retail price of €999 (US$1,300).
Bring on the Fonepad ...
The new 196.4 x 120.1 x 10.4-mm (7.7 x 4.7 x 0.4-inch), 340 g (11.9 oz) Fonepad tablet (with full telephony support) has a 7-inch 1280 x 800 resolution LED backlit IPS panel that offers the now familiar 178-degree viewing angle, and is capable of registering up to ten simultaneous touch points. It runs on Android 4.1 and is powered by Intel's new Lexington (Atom Z2420) processor running at 1.2 GHz, supported by 1 GB of system memory and will be available in 8 or 16 GB storage options, both with microSD expansion.
There's built-in 3G with HSPA+ mobile data, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and GPS/Glonass functionality. The Fonepad's 16 Wh Li-pol battery offers up to nine hours of continued use between charges, it sports hardware-accelerated 1080p Full HD video decoding capabilities and has an onboard noise-canceling digital microphone.
The included ASUS SonicMaster audio technology with MaxxAudio 3 processing by Waves gets a helping hand from a new in-house speaker design that's promised to offer surprisingly high fidelity audio reproduction.
Rounding up the specs is a 1.2-megapixel camera to the front as standard and a modest (but optional) 3-megapixel autofocus snapper at the back that's capable of shooting 720p video, and 5 GB of free lifetime WebStorage cloud storage.
ASUS has informed us that the Fonepad will be available globally from next month, prices start from US$249.
The company's Tech-In-Style channel introduces the Fonepad in the video below.