The Asus smartphone/tablet hybrid, PadFone X Mini, is now making its way stateside. The system, which includes a 4.5" smartphone and a larger 7" tablet, will be available in the US for $199.99 on AT&T's GoPhone plan without a contract. The smartphone device docks directly onto the tablet. The $200 price tag includes both items, but the tablet does not function without the phone.
Intel made the announcement recently, as its chips power the device. The launch of the PadFone X Mini in the US is a significant one for Intel considering it will be the first time the chipmaker's processor was used inside a smartphone with 4G LTE in the US, according to reports. While certainly a foot in the right direction, the mobile device market is generally dominated by Qualcomm in the US and with more than $1 billion in losses to its mobile chip unit, Intel still has some work to do.
Inside the PadFone, Intel has provided a dual-core, Atom Z2560 to support 1GB of RAM, 8GB of flash storage, two cameras and a Micro SD slot. It runs on Android 4.4 KitKat and the tablet end of the deal adds some extra battery power. The phone on its own provides nearly 16 hours on one charge, but the tablet brings an additional 12.5 hours.
Launch is just around the corner now on October 24th. While it certainly won't be the most popular option in the US and not likely to spell the end of Qualcomm for Intel, it will be interesting to see if the unique hybrid device gains any traction stateside.