Some Americans waited literally years for the weird and wonderful PadFone series to show up on a local carrier... and were finally unsurprised to see AT&T be the only one to bite. (Seriously, between all that Amazon and HTC hardware, AT&T seems like the only American carrier willing to take a little risk.) Now AT&T and ASUS are teaming up again for the slightly smaller version of the phone-tablet docking concept, the PadFone X Mini.
Android L is on its way, but people still want KitKat. It's true. If I were sitting around with a device still running, say, Android 4.1, I'd want an update to something newer, and I'm sure you would (or do) too. Well, Asus Padfone Infinity and Fonepad Note 6 owners now have their chance to take a bite out of a sweeter, more recent version of Android. Asus has announced the immediate availability of fresh firmware for both devices.
The last time that the Padfone 2 got a major version update was way back in December 2012, for Jelly Bean 4.1. Yeah, you read that right. Today ASUS is updating its second phone-tablet-combo-thingy all the way to KitKat, a move that will surely please at least some of the users who haven't upgraded to one of the newer models. Are you ready for some sketchy ASUS English translations? Of course you are.
The wait is nearly over for anyone who kind of wants a tablet, but doesn't want to commit to having two whole devices. The Asus PadFone X has been "coming soon" for months now, but AT&T is finally setting a date – you can get your own phone/tablet hybrid on June 6th for $199, if you go for the traditional contract.
Have you ever happened upon an attractive, dog-having single person in your local park and attempted to strike up a conversation about the fact that you, too, have a Canis domesticus and a picture of said animal that you would like to show this attractive dog-having person, only to be rejected because your phone's small display does not adequately represent your canine companion's intense cuteness? Good news! AT&T will soon be stocking the Asus PadFone X, a Certified Dog Photo Presenting Device (CDPPD) that will ensure the only reason you'll ever be shot down is for any other reason aside from not having a big enough screen to show someone a picture of your dog on.
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.
Asus has been making new versions of the Padfone every few months, but none of them have ever officially come to American shores. Well, that changes with the new Padfone X. This device will be available on AT&T in the not too distant future.
The Padfone X will have a 5-inch 1080p screen when in phone mode, but like past devices in its lineage, can be docked into a larger tablet shell.
I've been lusting after ASUS' ambitious Padfone devices ever since they were announced way back in 2012. But since ASUS is a company that focuses on its home market first, we haven't seen hide nor hair of the docking smartphone-tablet hybrids over here in the United States. According to an Engadget interview with ASUS CEO Jerry Shen, that could change as soon as the second quarter of next year.
The interview is a lengthy one, but the juicy bit is near the end: Shen says that ASUS is partnering with a "big operator" in the United States to launch the next iteration of the Padfone on our shores.
As we saw late last week, ASUS is looking to bring its unique Padfone concept to different form factors and price points. Enter the Padfone Mini, a new entry in the series that retains the dockable phone-tablet hybrid idea but shrinks it down to make it more affordable. The phone itself isn't much smaller at 4.3", but the tablet dock now has a 7-inch screen instead of 10, not to mention a vertical orientation.