Asus PadFone X mini: First totally Intel smartphone in the US, good for BYOD

This unique phone/tablet may be just the ticket for BYOD.

Asus is teaming up with AT&T to bring the PadFone X mini to the US on Oct. 24. The PadFone X mini has an Intel Atom processor and LTE modem, and is part of the chipmaker's push into the smartphone space.

Asus Padfone mini
Image: Asus

In spite of the "mini" in its name, the PadFone X mini has a 4.5-inch display, and runs Android KitKat (4.4). The PadFone line has been around for a few years, and the X mini carries on the tradition of including a tablet into which the phone is inserted.

Asus is fond of calling this a "docking station," but it is a 7-inch tablet that requires the phone to be docked to work. The tablet has its own battery, and uses the phone's processor, memory and storage. This has the advantage of having just one device for the owner to keep on top of, especially for updates.

Specifications:

Processor Intel Atom Z2560 1.6 GHz
OS Android 4.4
Storage/memory 1GB RAM, expandable with microSD
Display Phone: 4.5-inch IPS (854 x 480); Tablet: 7-inch IPS (1,280 x 800)
Cameras Phone: 5MP rear, 2MP front; Tablet: 1MP front
Battery Phone: 2,060 mAh (removable); Tablet: 2,200 mAh (non-removable)
Ports Audio; microUSB
Dimensions Smartphone: 5.20 x 2.61 x 0.25-0.50 in

Tablet: 8.02 x 4.70 x 0.44-0.83 in

Weight Phone: 5.25 oz; Tablet: 8.81 oz

Having the smartphone running the tablet makes the PadFone X mini a good choice for those in BYOD programs. Since it is in essence one device, the phone is the only gadget to clear with the IT department before bringing it to work. The tablet merely comes along for the ride. That means no tethering plan and only one data plan for the two. Your company will surely like that.

Asus claims the phone will get up to 28.3 hours in the tablet and 15.8 hours of use on its own. The battery in the tablet charges the phone when docked, which is a benefit for field workers. The phone battery is removable, so a second one can be swapped in to get owners through a short business trip.

The PadFone X mini will be available from AT&T on Oct. 24 for $199 on its pre-paid GoPhone plan, starting at $40 per month. That's a decent price for both a phone and a tablet, with LTE under the hood.

Intel is pushing to get into mobile, even at the expense of buying its way in , so this double device with the company's chips is a big deal. Intel has been trying to get the Atom processor in smartphones for a while, and it's only slowly happening.

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