ASUS is doubling down that consumers want their tablet and phone to be the same device. ASUS has announced that it has released the PadFone Mini in Taiwan, with plans to bring the device (devices?) to mainland China, Singapore, Russia, Hong Kong and Indonesia eventually.
The PadFone Mini is another in ASUS’s line of devices that has users “dock” their phone into a tablet-like device, charging the phone and allowing the user to use the larger screen. The PadFone Mini, as the name implies, brings the size down a bit, from the 10-inch tablets of ASUS’s previous PadFones to the more casual 7-inch tablet that we see here. The specs in both devices are clearly in the “budget” camp.
The PadFone Mini includes a Snapdragon 400 CPU running at 1.3GHz, 1GB of RAM, 1500mAh battery, 16GB onboard storage and a 960×540 screen. Plugging it into the tablet will give the device a 1280×800 screen and a 2200mAh battery. The PadFone Mini is launching in Taiwan for NT$11,990 (406USD, 294EUR) which is a pretty steep price considering the specs behind the glass. You do get two screen and two batteries, for what it is worth, but you can only use one at a time anyway.
For not much more you could purchase a Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 together. Or you could get a phone like the THL W200, which is a more powerful phone and has a better display, and still have $200 left over for a new tablet. Or better yet, you could just purchase a 6-inch phablet and have the best of both worlds. ASUS seems to be betting hard that consumers want to dock their phones inside of their tablets, even when their tablets aren’t much bigger than their phones, and are willing to pay a premium price in order to do so. What do you think, is the privilege of owning 1.5 devices worth the cost of admission?