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):

The 5-inch screen features a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution with an extraordinary 441 pixels-per-inch for text so crisp it looks like a printed page and wonderfully detailed high-resolution images. 64GB of storage complements the class-leading Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600 1.7GHz quad-core processor for a smooth and responsive premium Android experience, while 100Mbit/s LTE and 42Mbit/s DC-HSPA+ ensure super-fast web browsing and downloads. ASUS PadFone™ Infinity features a high-performance 13-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 5-element lens that captures incredibly detailed images with no shutter lag. A dedicated image signal-processor enhances low-light image quality and enables PadFone™ Infinity to capture up to 100 sequential photos at 8 frames-per-second, while simultaneously recording 1080p Full HD video. PadFone™ Infinity can also output 1080p Full HD video via its micro-USB-compatible MyDP interface.

The new PadFone Infinity and Infinity Station will be available in the U.K. starting at £799 (inc VAT) in April.

(via Engadget)

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