Samsung had introduced the phablet concept, having a smartphone and a tablet in one gadget, but Asus thought splitting the two but allowing them to dock and work in unison is a lot better. Thus, the birth of Asus PadFone 2.
On Tuesday, the world finally saw the new Asus hybrid handset, which actually is an improvement of the first PadFone edition, in Milan, Italy. Early reviewers agreed that the upgrades were indeed generous on the part of Asus, which decided to bump up every possible spec on the handset, hardware and software wise.
The PadFone 2, according to Asus chair Jonney Shih, is a labour of love and the end-result of "our relentless drive to innovate through Design Thinking."
"It's beautiful, it's fast, it's seamless and, best of all, it's intuitive," Mr Shih said in a news briefing yesterday as he introduced the new Asus handset that tech watchers will most likely challenge Samsung's Galaxy Note 2.
The gadget will hit the global market in late December 2012 and first countries to appreciate the twin-Asus offering are Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden in Europe.
Asians, specifically in Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and U.A.E., will be able snap the PadFone 2 at around the same time but it appears that the device will not be released in the greater Asia-Pacific region simultaneously.
That should mean Australian buyers will have to wait a bit more for the exciting dockable PadFone 2, which will be powered by Android Ice Cream Sandwich out-of-the-box, though Asus had indicated that new markets for the phone will be shortly after its commercial debut.
Asus has yet to provide specific pricing for the PadFone 2 but according to BGR News, a 16GB model could be bought at around $US620 and consumers wanting to enjoy the seamless integration of the smartphone to its tablet dock will need to fork out $200 more.
The storage capacity quoted by BGR is the basic configuration as buyers willing to pay more can easily opt for the 64GB configuration, which can be further extended on Asus' free two-year WebStorage.
More music files, more images and a lot more high-resolution videos can be lugged along with the PadFone 2, which the Taiwan-based firm said will definitely cater to and satisfy global consumer's proclivity for capturing memorable moments via its 13MP camera sensor.
The highlight of PadFone 2's camera features, according to Asus, is its burst mode function, which allows users to record as many as six images in just a second. On video mode, the phone's camera shooter will easily capture personal movies on 720p or 1080p HD.
PadFone 2 owners can then relive what were taken on the phone's HD Super IPS+ display component, which beams out a high resolution of 1280 x 720 on the Corning Fit Glass-protected screen, also able to withstand onslaught of abuses and wear and tear, Asus said.
When docked, the screen stretches to 10.1-inch while at the same time extending the phone's projected talk-time of 16 hours on 3G (yes it's not LTE-capable) and 13 hours of Wi-Fi surfing because the tablet dock also acts as a charger, with enough power to juice up the PadFone 2's energy needs.
All the power features deployed with the gadget is sourced from the 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, which is paired with a 2GB, RAM to ensure that consumers will only experience snappy performance in smartphone of tablet mode.
In a quick review, Engadget noted that the new Asus device comes with one of the most powerful processors deployed on any given smartphone to date, adding that consumers will marvel on the strong grip offered by the tablet dock, which ensures that the phone will not slip away while users simultaneously use the gadget bundle.