Hands On Asus Padfone Mini

Dave Zatz —  January 12, 2014


From CES, Asus continues to introduce hybrid devices to accommodate a variety of use cases – from dual OS laptops to “convergent” smartphone-tablet devices as seen from the new Padfone Mini, which mates a 4″ Android smartphone to a 7″ screen. Despite a modest 800×480 resolution, the phone itself looks and feels quite nice — it’s what I imagine a better constructed second generation Moto X could be. Beyond the handsome hardware, the Padfone Mini runs Asus’ ZenUI experience on top of Android – bringing flat, soft visuals, more akin to iOS7 than the Samsung’s garish TouchWiz presentation. In addition to interface customizations, there are plenty of software enhancements – including an superfluous selfie feature and the more practical “What’s Next” that mashes up your calendar, tasks, and location, viewed within a dedicated app or integrated into live wallpaper.


Of course, the main feature and selling point here is being able to transform a smartphone into a tablet and waiting about 2 seconds after  simply sliding the handset into the back of the “station” is all it takes. It’s not the most sleek tablet you’ll encounter, but in theory you’ll save a few bucks by only funding a single processor, 8 megapixel camera, 4G plan, and such. Also, there’s some benefit to managing a single device when it comes to apps and customization. Lastly, both phone and the tablet sled contain their own batteries… which can be charged simultaneously when docked. It’s a clever solution, which may or may not make it to American shores. And I’m still pining more for a next gen Motorola Atrix smartphone/netbook sort of hybrid.

Initial partners, pricing, and timing will be revealed next month at Mobile World Congress.

2 responses to Hands On Asus Padfone Mini

  1. 800×480 display?? I haven’t used a resolution that low in many years. I couldn’t imagine going back to such a low resolution. I’ll keep my phone and tablet separate for now. My 5″ cellphone has a 1920×1080 display and my 7″ tablet has a 1920×1200 display. Google makes it easy for me to have multiple devices using android. All my apps are automatically downloaded when I first setup a device. It just seems easier to keep the devices separate. At least in my use.

  2. Yeah, it’s becoming clear that manufacturers will continue making devices in all different sizes to meet different preferences and what not. When the Galaxy Note 2 was my daily driver, my 7″ Kindle seemed redundant. Back on the smaller iPhone and I kinda of pine for a 7 incher again. As I said above, I’d appreciate another Atrix style setup for the larger screened device. Then again, with all the tablet keyboard covers and external keyboards, perhaps it’s unnecessary Will be interesting to see if Apple expands their range to include something between the existing iPhone and the Mini.