Asus will debut a smaller, less powerful version of its smartphone/tablet hybrid Padfone next week in Taiwan. The smartphone portion of the device called the Padfone Mini recently appeared on a listing on the Global Certification Forum, confirming the device’s existence. Shortly after the listing appeared Asus sent an invitation to an event for the device to Engadget. Rumors of the PadFone Mini say the phone will have a 4.3-inch display with a 960×540 resolution, which the listing and invite seem to confirm.
Other rumors of the device say it will use a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, though the listing doesn’t mention anything of the internals aside from what radios it will use. The listing confirms the Padfone will only have 3G radios, which shouldn’t be too surprising. The phone will likely be a budget version of the PadFone, and LTE radios always increase the price of devices.
As with all other PadFone devices, the Padfone Mini will also have a tablet that it slots into. The tablet portion of the Padfone will allegedly have a 7-inch display, making it smaller than any other Padfone tablet. The tablet feature is what makes the Padfone unique. With it users only have to buy one device to get a tablet and a smartphone. The downside is that because the phone powers the tablet, users can only use one at a time.
Not that everyone would want to use both a tablet and a smartphone at the same time, but it simply isn’t an option with the Padfone. While Asus will announce the Padfone at its event next week, don’t expect a U.S. release of the device. No previous Padfone has ever come to a U.S. carrier, and those who want the device typically have to import it from elsewhere. The PadFone Mini will probably be no different. Would you be willing to import a Padfone Mini? Do you really want a smartphone that also powers your tablet?