The phone that becomes a tablet: AT&T announces deal to carry the new, Android 4.4 KitKat-touting PadFone X


AT&T has just announced that it will be carrying the new PadFone X from Asus. The successor of the PadFone Infinity will follow into the footsteps of those before it, and will continue to carry the torch for a pretty interesting piece of tech that has managed to stick around against all odds. In case you weren't aware, the PadFone line products feature smartphones that can be latched to the back of a tablet dock, and turn it into a fully-functioning tablet. In other words, the phone serves as the brains of the tablet – no phone, no tablet. Considering that the price of the package can be generally said to be much more competitive than the alternative of buying two separate products, it actually isn't that surprising to see the concept gain a foothold.

Anyhow, back to the aforementioned PadFone X. The AT&T and Asus duo hasn't bee overly explicit as to what we can expect, so there are still quite a few important blanks, though we're not without clue. Unlike the PadFone Infinity, Asus has opted for a smaller, 9-inch tablet dock this time around, while the smartphone diagonal will stay with the same 5-inch, 1080p panel. The device is promised to run Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and also boast NFC and 4G LTE-Advanced connectivity, though there is a catch. For starters, availability hasn't been announced, so an Android KitKat badge of honor can quickly turn from something exciting into something mundane. Moreover, while we tech geeks have been drooling enviously at our counterparts in South Korea and elsewhere for their LTE-Advanced speeds, it's worth pointing out that no US carrier offers the new tech as of this writing.

Finally, and as you can probably guess already, no information has been relayed as to what kind of chipset, memory and camera tech we can expect to make an appearance with the PadFone X. If speculators have the truth of it, however, we might see the latest Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel or above camera unit. Naturally, we'd prefer to wait and see for ourselves, once either AT&T or Asus are ready to share more details.

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