ASUS PadFone series is intriguing to say the least. Some users love their PadFone devices; some consumers don’t understand the appeal at all. ASUS just announced the PadFone Mini at CES, and AT&T will begin carrying the PadFone X in the near future. We can also add the newly announced PadFone E to the manufacturers line up. ASUS just announced the PadFone E, and you can see it on their website already. The PadFone E is a solidly mid-range device (devices?). It has a 4.7-inch screen with a 1280 x 720 display resolution. 720p screens are 2012’s news, but the visible difference at 4.7-inches is negligible. The device is powered by a 1.4 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC. It has 1 GB of RAM and a small 1820 mAh battery. The smartphone battery seems really tiny, but the tablet battery adds an additional 5000 mAh when the smartphone is docked. The tablet has a 10.1-inch display with the same screen resolution as the smartphone. As I said, this thing will deliver a decidedly mid-range experience.
The PadFone E falls right in between the PadFone Mini and the PadFone X. The specs are very similar to the Mini, but the screen size is about the same as the X. The device is running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, too, which is a bit of a disappointment at this stage in the game. This device (devices?) should be shipping with Android 4.4 KitKat. ASUS is promising a quick update for the Mini from 4.3 to 4.4, so we hope that the same update is quickly made available for the E series PadFone. ASUS is kind of pulling a Samsung here, introducing a bunch of similar devices with different specs and different price points and then letting consumers figure out which options is best for them. This model works well for Samsung, but it hasn’t worked as well for smaller companies like HTC. ASUS is a great tablet manufacturer, but the PadFone concept seems to be a more difficult sell for consumers. The PadFone E gives them another tool in the proverbial tool box. Check out some more press images from ASUS and let us know what you think in the comments.