Asus did not unveil just the Asus Transformer Book Duet, the three ZenPhones and the PadFone X at its CES 2014 event, as the company also announced the PadFone Mini, a smaller smartphone-tablet combination that we’ve seen in the past.
We’re looking at a 4-inch Android handset that docks into a 7-inch enclosure to become a 7-inch tablet, a setup that mobile device buyers looking for smaller devices may certainly appreciate.
Specs and features
Unfortunately, don’t expect high-end features from the Asus PadFone Mini, as this isn’t a flagship device, especially by 2013/2014 standards. Here’s what you can expect from it in terms of specs and features:
- Size: 124.42 x 61.44 x 6.3-11.2 mm (smartphone mode) / 199.85 x 119.43 x 13.91 mm (tablet mode)
- Weight: 116g / 260 g
- 4-inch display with 800 x 480 resolution (smartphone mode)
- 7-inch display with 1280 x 800 resolution (tablet mode)
- 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB of storage
- microSD support up to 64GB
- 8-megapixel Sony camera with BSI, wide-aperture f/2.0 and five-element lense
- 2-megapixel front-facing camera
- dual SIM support
- 802.11 b/g/n support
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1170mAh / 3270mAh battery depending of mode
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (upgradeable to KitKat) with Asus Zen UI on top
- Asus Dynamic Display technology that automatically resizes apps to fit the appropriate screen size
Pricing and release date
Launch details for the Asus PadFone Mini aren’t available at this time – we’ll be back with more details for you as soon as we have them – although the device will cost $249 in the USA later this year when it launches..
In early December 2013, an Asus PadFone Mini version that packs a 4.3-inch phone into a 7-inch tablet was launched in Taiwan, where it sells for around $400, unlocked.
ASUS Announces PadFone mini
Newest PadFone features a compact 4-inch smartphone that slots into a sleek 7-inch tablet and a fast, energy efficient 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor
Las Vegas, NV (January 6, 2014) — ASUS today announced PadFone mini, an elegant 4-inch smartphone that transforms effortlessly into a 7-inch tablet. This latest addition to the hugely popular ASUS PadFone family is powered by an Intel® Atom™ Z2560 processor, has 8GB of internal storage and a micro SD card slot that enables storage to be upgraded by up to 64GB.
PadFone mini is an outstanding smartphone that’s also a lightweight handheld tablet featuring exclusive ASUS DynamicDisplay technology that automatically resizes apps for the different display sizes, a brilliant 8-megapixel (8MP) rear camera and 2MP front-facing camera for high quality photos and video chat sessions. PadFone mini is finished with the unique concentric-circle design detail that’s become an iconic part of the ASUS brand and offers five brilliant color choices for a true personality statement.
PadFone mini even supports dual SIMs for superb connectivity, so users have the freedom to maintain two distinct phone numbers, or separate data and phone lines, without requiring two handsets. The device also benefits from ZenUI, a new user interface that’s exclusive to ASUS smart devices. With simplified icons and menus, a selection of themes beautifully designed to match the device colors and a clever What’s Next feature that helps users keep track of their lives, ASUS ZenUI is the irresistible interface that proves fantastic functionality can have a friendly face.
Peerless design, lightweight convenience and great power — all with superb battery life
PadFone mini is the first device to bring together the convenience of a 4-inch smartphone with the power and versatility of a 7-inch handheld tablet that fits comfortably with just one hand. PadFone mini saves the hassle of having to carry two separated devices and is much lighter than many other smartphone-and-tablet combinations.
PadFone mini is very slim and lightweight with a gently curved design featuring diamond-cut edges and a spun-metal finish that looks beautiful. A soft-touch ceramic coating ensures comfort and great durability.
Both the 4-inch and 7-inch displays use IPS+ (in-plane switching) technology for fantastically clear and sharp images that offer great viewing angles. To ensure a seamless experience when switching between smartphone and tablet modes, PadFone mini’s exclusive DynamicDisplay technology ensures apps are instantly resized for the appropriate screen size.
Inside the PadFone mini is an Intel Atom Z2560 processor that delivers ultra-responsive performance for both smartphone and tablet applications.
ASUS engineers managed to equip the super slim PadFone mini with a total battery capacity of 3270mAh (12.8Wh) — for extended talk and tablet time. The tablet even charges the PadFone mini smartphone when docked, virtually eliminating worries about finding a power outlet during the day.
Premium 8MP PixelMaster camera with wide-aperture lens for great light sensitivity
PadFone mini’s main camera couples an 8MP Sony® BSI (backside-illumination) sensor and wide-aperture f/2.0 five-element lens with exclusive ASUS PixelMaster technology to capture digital photographs that more than match those by many dedicated digital cameras.
PixelMaster’s Low-Light Mode measures the available light and intelligently adjusts the pixel size to increase light sensitivity by up to 400% — and that means PadFone mini has the ability to snap great low-lights shots even without the built-in flash.
PixelMaster also includes many other brilliantly easy-to-use options that further enhance PadFone mini’s digital photography prowess, including HDR (High Dynamic Range), PanoSphere, Smart Remove and All Smiles — the latter ensuring that all subjects look their best by intelligently choosing the best shots from a series of captured facial expressions. PixelMaster also has a Turbo Shot mode that lets users capture multiple still shots in just one second.
PadFone mini also captures smooth high-definition (1080p) video footage — and users even have the ability to capture still photographs while shooting video.
ASUS ZenUI interface and exclusive enhanced apps
ASUS engineers wanted to make PadFone mini as easy to use as it is powerful and versatile so they designed ZenUI. This brand-new interface is exclusive to ASUS smart devices, including PadFone mini. With simplified icons and menus, gorgeous device-matching color themes, and a clever What’s Next feature that helps users keep track of their lives, ZenUI is meticulously designed to help users make the most of the functionality enhancements packed into every PadFone mini.
ASUS has also added enhanced Android apps to PadFone mini, so users are able to make the most of the convergent device’s vast array of features. With the email app, for example, ASUS has added the ability to read messages by thread making it much easier to keep track of conversations. In the web browser, Smart Reader Mode automatically adjusts the background tone to reduce eyestrain, while ASUS Collage lets users create engaging photo stories and easily share them online.
Intel Atom Z2560 (1.6GHz)
Android 4.3 (will update to 4.4 KitKat) with ASUS ZenUI
eMMC 8GB / Micro SD Card Support / LPDDR2 1GB RAM
DC-HSPA+ (DL/UL): 42/5.76 Mbps
GSM 850/900/1800/1900; UMTS 850/900/1900/2100;
Integrated 802.11 b/g/n; WiFi-Direct
Bluetooth V 4.0 ( EDR + A2DP )
Phone: 4-inch TFT LED Backlight / 800 x 480 WVGA IPS+
Station: 7-inch TFT LED Backlight / 1280 x 800 WXGA IPS+
Phone: 4.5Wh, 1170mAh, non-removable polymer battery
Station: 8.3Wh, 2100mAh, non-removable polymer battery
Headphone jack / Micro USB / 24-pin connector / Dual micro SIM
Phone: 124.42 (L) x 61.44 (W) x 6.3-11.2 (H) mm
199.85 (L) x 119.43 (W) x 13.91 (H) mm
Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.
1 Specifications and product availability are all subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors. For more details about the products mentioned in this press release, please visit http://press.asus.com .
ASUS is a worldwide top-three consumer notebook vendor and maker of the world’s best-selling, most award-winning, motherboards. A leading enterprise in the new digital era, ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s digital home and office, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, displays, desktop and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia devices, wireless solutions, networking devices, tablets and smartphones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 4,168 awards in 2012 and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with its Eee PC™. ASUS has more than 12,500 employees around the globe with a world-class R&D team of 3,800 engineers. Company revenue for 2012 was approximately US$14 billion.