After quite a long wait, ASUS is finally bringing one of its most intriguing products, the combination smartphone and tablet known as the PadFone, to America. The news comes via ASUS CEO Jerry Shen, who told Engadget in an interview that the two-in-one PadFone would be coming to a "big operator" in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2014. The PadFone originally made its debut back in 2011, during the Computex tradeshow, and has seen multiple permutations since then.
The latest version of the device, the ASUS PadFone Infinity, features a 5-inch handset and 10.1-inch tablet. The brains of the operation, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage sits inside the handset half of the PadFone. With its 1080p display and brushed metal chassis, the PadFone's smartphone element is absolutely beautiful.
When you want a bigger screen, you can slide the smartphone into a dock in the rear of the tablet. The tablet then uses the smartphone's processor, RAM and storage as if they were its own. The tablet doesn't just use a blown up version of the Android operating system and overlay found on the PadFone's smartphone portion, either. In fact, its interface is nearly identical to the kind you would see on one of ASUS' dedicated tablets.
For the U.S. market, however, Shen says the company is working on a new version of the PadFone. Unfortunately, he didn't offer any information on the next-generation model. If the device is coming to the U.S., however, it could make its debut at either CES 2014 in January, or Mobile World Congress 2014 in February. ASUS has previously shown off two iterations of the PadFone at past MWC press events, but those devices were never destined for the U.S.