07
Jan
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If you know anything about ASUS, it's probably that they love to put things in other things. I'm pretty sure they pioneered putting phones inside of tablets, turning tablets into laptops, and other forms of turducken technology. In true ASUS form, the company announced not one, not two, but three new turduckentech devices yesterday: the PadFone Mini, PadFone X, and Transformer Book Duet.

As the smallest, most agile, and most affordable of the three, the PadFone Mini is ASUS' entry-level PadFone device. It's a four inch, 480x800 phone that docks into a seven inch, 1280x800 tablet. It's powered by an Intel Z2560 dual-core Atom processor, packs 1GB of RAM, shares 8GB of internal storage (it also has an SD card slot), and runs Android 4.3. ASUS has promised an upgrade to KitKat in the future, so that'll be available eventually.

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At $249 USD, the PadFone Mini actually packs a lot of hardware for the money. It's two devices in one, and both feel surprisingly solid given the price point. I feel like the PadFone Mini would be a perfect "first phone" for a tween – it's cheap, is a phone and tablet, and comes in fun, festive colors. Tweens love fun, festive colors.

The docking action on the PadFone is incredibly fluid and simple, and the transition between the two devices is very quick. This was actually the most impressive aspect of the PadFone Mini, again considering its low price point.

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The PadFone Mini runs ASUS' new ZenUI, which brings a whole new look for ASUS. It's flat, fluid, and fast, which allows it it run surprisingly well on the (relatively) low-end hardware. Everything in the UI is fairly snappy initially, though it's hard to say if that sort of fluidity will stay consistent over time. My first impressions of the overall look and feel is positive, so hopefully it can keep that momentum going.

Overall, the PadFone Mini is a nice little gadget, especially considering its $249 price tag. That's really an unprecedented price for a both a phone and tablet, and while it's definitely not meant for everyone, it's an appealing entry-level piece of kit for the right person. Unfortunately, there's no word on when (or if) the PadFone Mini will make its way Stateside, so we'll have to wait for word from ASUS on that.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Danny Holyoake

    Hoping for a hands on with the Z1 Compact :)

  • Michael

    I have to say, I actually really like the look of this phone. I couldn't use it because I have to have the best, but very impressed.

    • Merri Mogridge

      At first glimpse it reminded me of a HTC Legend. But $249 is a great price! This would be a perfect gift for my mam if they ever sell it in Ireland.

      • LeeroyJ.

        nothing ever comes to Ireland.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    The Padphone Mini..."It's not terrible!"

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/pamela-hill/ Pamela Hill

    Turduckentech! A new tech term coined by Cameron!

  • Dan

    "turducken tech" <-- This is why I read AndroidPolice.

  • haragog

    If they would release firmware updates for the rest of Padfones, maybe I would recommend it...

  • david

    hm... when you dock the phone into the tablet, apps like whatsapp should still be usable, right?