Asus to launch the Padfone 2 on October 16

Asus Padfone 2 InvitationAsus is going to launch a sequel to its quirky Padfone, named, as if you couldn’t guess, the Padfone 2. The company has begun to circulate invitations to the event where it intends to show off the new device, which will take place on October 16.

The original Padfone had a long and drawn out gestation, as it initially appeared at the Computex show in May 2011 with a Christmas release date attached. This wasn’t really the case, and that first Padfone was more of a concept that a real product — a fact backed up by Asus’ redesign of the Padfone for Mobile World Congress 2012.

Eventually, after more delays, the Padfone went on sale in the USA in June 2012, having popped up in several other countries already. The price bordered on the ridiculous, with the complete package of the phone, tablet and keyboard dock likely to set owners back more than $1000.

Here’s a reminder of the specification: The phone has a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen and a 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon processor, while the tablet has a 10.1-inch display, and needs the phone to be docked before it does anything. Many will also remember Asus’ solution to the problem of how to answer incoming phone calls when the pair are docked — a stylus that transformed into a Bluetooth earpiece!

Say what you like about the Padfone, it was brimming with innovation, and perhaps didn’t get the recognition or success it deserved.

Half the price, half the quirk?

So, here comes the sequel. The invitation makes it very clear it’s the Padfone 2 that will be announced, and that there will be two — presumably simultaneous — launch events, one in Milan, Italy and the other in Taipei, Taiwan.

Asus gives nothing away about the new Padfone 2, but we can see the bottom corner of the phone section, which reveals nothing more than a pair of virtual buttons and the Android operating system. Given how quirky the first Padfone was — for a piece of consumer electronics, anyway — will Asus have calmed down with the follow-up, in an effort to make it more popular?

A set of benchmark figures claimed to be from the Padfone 2 hint at the new device using a quad-core Snapdragon processor, and boasting 2GB of RAM, plus — sadly — Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The leak is accompanied by speculation that the new Padfone 2 won’t arrive until 2013, which sounds plausible now we have the date of the launch event.

Will the Padfone 2 achieve success for Asus? Well, the public could be more receptive this time, thanks to Asus’ and other manufacturers efforts with tablet/laptop hybrids; but more than anything, it’s the price that needs to be right, otherwise it runs the risk of being regarded as another expensive novelty.

Product Review

Controversy has dogged the MacBook Pro lately. Is it still a good purchase?

The MacBook Pro is a controversial laptop these days -- and that's unfortunate. Due to some divisive changes Apple made to the functionality of the MacBook Pro, fans are more split. Does the 8th-gen refresh change that?

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.

Verizon 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Product Review

It may be basic, but the TicWatch E2 is all the smartwatch you need

Want a smartwatch that can track heart rate, has GPS, and interact with notifications — for cheap? Mobvoi’s Google Wear OS-based TicWatch E2 can do it all, for just $160.

Is 5G as fast as they’re saying? We break down the speeds

We take a look at the kinds of speeds you can expect from 5G when the networks roll out. Find out 5G compares to the last generation of network technology, what the minimum and maximum speeds will be, and what it means for us.

Tizen 4 arriving on Samsung’s Gear S3 and Gear Sport smartwatches

Samsung is updating the Gear S3 Classic, Gear S3 Frontier, and the Gear Sport to the newest version of Tizen 4. Along with of some little tweaks to usability and quality-of-life, Samsung has added some new features.

Mobvoi’s TicWatch E2 and S2 are the most affordable Wear OS smartwatches yet

Quality smartwatches don't have to be expensive, and Mobvoi's TicWatch is the proud paladin of that philosophy. Mobvoi's new TicWatch S2 and are both available for low prices from Amazon and Mobvoi's website.

Save up to $950 with the best smartphone deals for January 2019

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $950.
Product Review

Honor schools other phone makers on design with the hole-punch View 20

The Honor View 20 is Honor’s best phone to date. Why? Just look at the punch hole screen, the striking design, and the exciting 48-megapixel camera for evidence. Here’s our review.

With weeklong battery life, the new Honor Watches are a real Dream to wear

Honor has unveiled the new Honor View 20, one of the best smartphones of the year. Alongside it, however, the company also took the wraps off of the new Honor Watch Magic and Honor Watch Dream.

2019's 10 best dating apps to help you find the perfect companion

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.