Asus has started inviting the local press to an event on 11 December in Taipei, where it’s expected to launch a new Padfone. Mobile fans will remember the Padfone as being a mashup of both a tablet and a smartphone, but instead of going down the same route as the Galaxy Note series, the Padfone is a regular sized phone, which can be plugged into a separate full-size tablet module.
We’ve seen several versions of the Padfone already, each based on a 10-inch tablet, but the model to arrive this week could be a departure from this formula. Asus knows its customers like smaller 7-inch tablets – it builds the Nexus 7 for Google, after all- so that’s the way it’s going to go with the new Padfone Mini.
The invitation shows a drawing of a smaller tablet and phone, which matches up with some leaked shots of the device. Unlike other Padfone models, the phone should slot in from the side of the tablet, if you’re holding it in landscape, rather than the top as on the larger Padfone.
The phone will get smaller too, with the rumoured spec indicating it’ll drop to 4.3-inches, and have a 960×540 pixel resolution. Instead of a high-end Snapdragon 800 processor, a Snapdragon 400 could be fitted, along with 1GB of RAM. While Android 4.3 is expected to power the Padfone Mini, there’s no word on the camera.
We’ll get all the official details regarding the Padfone Mini on 11 December, including news on where it’ll launch and how much it’ll cost.