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Asus to release Padfone Mini, ready to take on the hordes of 7-inch Android tablets

The Asus Padfone was originally released in February 2012, but it wasn’t until the Padfone 2 came along in October that the strange phone/tablet hybrid started to make sense. Since then it has been given a few spec boosts, culminating in the impressive Padfone Infinity in September this year.

The one thing all these Padfone devices have in common is the 10-inch tablet section, but Asus knows Android slates are more popular when they measure 7-inches, and it could be preparing a more compact Padfone to tempt us. The company has sent out press invitations to a December 11 event in Taipei, and although the invite is basic, it does have a drawing of what could be a 7-inch Padfone.

Padfone Mini InviteA leak published just before the invitation began to circulate suggested the device will be called the Padfone Mini, with the phone section sporting a 4.3-inch screen, and the tablet a 7-inch display. Asus seems to be embracing the smartphone world’s definition of the word “mini,” by lowering the specs along with the overall size. If the leak, which originated from a set of benchmarking figures, turns out to be correct, the phone’s resolution will be a disappointing 960 x 540.

While the Padfone Infinity has a Snapdragon 800 processor inside, the Padfone Mini may use a Snapdragon 400. It’s still a quad-core chip, and has proven itself to be very capable inside the Motorola Moto G. As for the tablet section, it takes power from the phone, but should have its own battery pack, just like its larger cousins. If the little drawing on Asus’ event invitation is representative of the final product, the phone will slot into the tablet from the side (in landscape), and not the top. This again points to a smaller screen size.

We’ll know all about the Padfone Mini, or whatever it ends up being called, on December 11.

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