Phablets may not be for everyone, but most people seem to enjoy using a reasonably sized smartphone and a full-sized tablet separately. Asus believes that consumers should have their cake and eat it too, as the first hardware manufacturer to design a smartphone-tablet hybrid in the PadFone. The most recent model, PadFone Infinity, was released last February, but Asus is already giving it a refresh ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Invitations sent to members of the technology press indicate a September 17 launch for the new PadFone Infinity. According to Edgadget, Asus CEO Jerry Shen will host the event in Taipei.
Alleged GFX benchmarks for the new PadFone Infinity, code-named the “Asus A86,” appeared back in August. The so-called A86 likely includes an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, showing a 2.2GHz processor and Android 4.2.2 in the benchmark documentation. It scored a 33900 in AnTuTu – compared to the similarly Snapdragon 800-powered LG G2’s 29909.
“Aside from an upgraded processor and the addition of a white model, not much is known about the new PadFone Infinity. The design is said to be the exact same, with no resolution upgrade for the screen. A MicroSD card slot could make an appearance, but those are the only tweaks we’ve heard of,” reported Android Authority.
BGR added: “The lack of a redesign means that all current accessories will be compatible with the A86.”
The white version of the new PadFone Infinity was also leaked in August, with Taiwanese blog ePrice accurately predicting a launch between September 15 and 20. ePrice also claimed that the price will be lower than the roughly $900 current model.
Another key piece of evidence, a drop-down menu on Asus’ support page that had an option for “The new PadFone Infinity,” foretold the upcoming launch of a refreshed model.
Asus has also posted a video to the PadFone Infinity’s current website that shows the new device “lifting off” from its tablet dock. It also includes a countdown timer that is ticking away the seconds before the unveiling in Taiwan.