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Asus slims it down with PadFone Mini (pictures)

Taking its phone-tablet combination device down a notch, Asus launches its PadFone Mini at CES 2014.

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Lynn La

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1 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

The Asus PadFone Mini

LAS VEGAS -- Featuring a 4-inch handset and a 7-inch tablet, the PadFone Mini is the little brother of Asus' PadFone family of smartphone-pad crossbreeds.

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Compact 4-inch phone

The smartphone includes a 4-inch IPS+ display with an 800x480-pixel resolution. As for the tablet, it's equipped with a 7-inch touch screen, and has a 1,280x800-pixel resolution. You can use the display with gloves on, as well as a regular pen (as supposed to a stylus) to navigate through the screen.

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Decked out camera

Along with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, the device features an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. This five-element lens shooter packs a backside-illumination sensor from Sony, as well as an f/2.0 aperture. It is capable of recording 1080p video, and a few photo editing options include HDR shooting and a low-light mode.

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4 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Non-removable battery inside

The Mini runs Android 4.3 (which Asus reported will be upgradable to 4.4 KitKat at a later time). Powering the device is a non-removable 1,170mAh battery. Though this handset doesn't include LTE, it does include dual SIMs for those who travel frequently or desire two separate phone numbers.

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5 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Bright, saturated colors

The Mini comes in five colors: black and white, as well as very vibrant shades of red, blue, and yellow. It sports a sheen, soft-touch coating that lends a premium feel to them.

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Looking down the dock

On its rear side is a 24-pin connector dock, which is used to hold and connect the accompanying smartphone in its place. The tablet can also be used to juice the handset's battery while docking as well.

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7 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Charging the battery

The tablet is powered by a 2,100mAh, bringing the entire power capacity of the PadFone Mini unit to 3,270mAh. There's an option to charge the phone through the pad as well.

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8 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

ZenUI redesign

In addition to running Android, the unit will sport Asus’ new user interface. Dubbed "ZenUI," it will feature coordinated color themes and redesigned icons and menus. "What's Next" is also included, which syncs your calendar, e-mail, and the weather, and consolidates them in a sleek, easy to read to-do list.

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9 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Not announced for US... yet?

Though Asus has yet to release availability information, the Mini will be sold for $249. It is possible that the US may never get its hands on it, similar to how the PadFone (2013) is available only in Europe and Asia. However, given the news that AT&T is bringing over the PadFone X, the Mini may find its way to our shores after all.

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