Asus’ PadFone was once a single, quirky product available in only a select few places, but it has grown to become a globally sold, multi-level collection of devices, all with different screen sizes and specs. The latest addition to the family is the PadFone Infinity Lite, a mid-range model fitting somewhere in-between the PadFone Mini and the PadFone Infinity 2, which shows Asus has no intention of slowing down.
The PadFone stands out because it’s a true two-in-one device, consisting of a regular smartphone and a dumb tablet dock. Slot the two together, and the phone becomes the tablet’s brain. The big advantage here is not having to pay for two data connections, as the tablet shares the phone’s connectivity.
In the case of the PadFone Infinity Lite, the phone has a 5-inch IPS touchscreen with a 1080p resolution, and is powered by a 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM. Inside the PadFone Mini is a Snapdragon 400 chip, while the top-of-the-range PadFone Infinity 2 has a Snapdragon 800. Asus is making it pretty clear where the Infinity Lite slots into its range. Other features include a 13-megapixel rear camera and 32GB of internal memory.
Pop the phone into the tablet dock and activity switches to a 10.1-inch screen boasting the same resolution. A whopping 5000mAh battery ensures you don’t eat through the phone’s battery while the pair are docked, keeping it fully topped up until they’re separated. Sadly, Asus lists the operating system as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is several generations old now.
A combined price of around $700 is being suggested for the PadFone Infinity Mini, but it’s not clear whether Asus will launch it outside of Taiwan. History suggests it won’t, but we may hear differently during Mobile World Congress next week, when we’d expect to get our first proper look at the new PadFone.