The year of the tablet phone continues with the 7-inch Asus Fonepad & new HD Padfone hybrid

Following the official announcement of Samsung’s 8-inch Galaxy Note smartphone and tablet hybrid, Asus today made things official for its own 7-inch tablet with built-in 3G calling capabilities. We’re not exactly sure if consumers are asking for a 7-inch or larger device for making calls, but the addition of an HSPA+ radio is on top of otherwise decent specs compared to its competitors. Dubbed the FonePad, Asus said the device includes a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1,280-by-800 HD display, and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The Fonepad also packs a 4,270mAh battery that Asus said should bring around 9 hours of battery life.

As for availability, Asus said the Fonepad would arrive to customers in the U.K. sometime in late Q2 of this year with prices starting at £179 (inc VAT) for the 16GB variant.

The company also announced another phone/tablet hybrid today, the next-generation PadFone. Asus has released previous generations of the device including a smartphone and tablet dock that allows users to quickly switch from the tablet form factor to a smartphone. It announced it is upgrading the smartphone portion to a 5-inch, 1080p display, while the 10.1-inch tablet gets a new 1,920-by-1,200 display and upgraded internals (via Engadget):

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Motorola shrinks its 2012 device portfolio, cuts strategic partnership with Intel on Atom-powered Android phones


A smartphone reference design by Intel.

Handset maker Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Google, and is subject to approval from regulators in the United States and Europe, said at CES 2012 yesterday that it would release fewer phones in 2012. The company also announced a multi-year strategic mobile partnership with Intel to make Android smartphones powered by the chipmaker’s struggling Atom platform.

According to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha’s roundtable meeting with reporters at CES yesterday, Motorola no longer sees value in dispersing its efforts by flooding the market with countless devices:

A lot of products that are roughly the same doesn’t drive the market to a new place. […] I made this decision independent of what the others will. We’re doing what we think is the right thing.

Motorola issued a warning last week on fourth-quarter results, and the company said numbers would come in below the $3.9 billion that most analysts expected. As for the Motorola-Intel partnership…

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