And just like that, Asus’ Padfone family, viewed by many as a niche line unable to ever break into the mainstream, has reached the point where it officially consists of four, count’em four members.

ASUS PadFone Infinity 2 Asus unveils new Padfone Infinity: Snapdragon 800 CPU, tweaked camera, microSD support

The new Padfone Infinity, which, as rumored, will be branded exactly that way (i.e.: “The new Padfone Infinity”, not Infinity 2, Infinity S or Padfone 4), has been introduced to the world earlier today in Taiwan, being slated for a commercial release around those parts later this month.

Priced at roughly US$ 640 (TWD 18,990) sans the tablet dock, which costs an extra US$ 235 (TWD 7,000), the 2-in-1 device is set to spread around the Asian and European continents like wildfire by the end of the year, although no clear ETAs have been announced just yet.

Unfortunately, all the rumors preceding the formal intro seem to have been spot-on, which makes the new Padfone Infinity a less than stellar upgrade over the old thing. In fact, the only truly notable tweaks are the swapping of the quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU with a zippier 2.2 GHz S800 unit and the adding of microSD support.

ASUS PadFone Infinity Asus unveils new Padfone Infinity: Snapdragon 800 CPU, tweaked camera, microSD support

Meanwhile, the on-board storage has been downsized from 32 and 64 gigs to 16 and 32 (due to obvious reasons), the pre-loaded Android 4.1 Jelly Bean has been upped to 4.2 (also JB) and the rear camera, which continues to pack a 13 MP sensor, comes with a number of new features, including something called PixelMaster and a turbo mode burst.

Those sound like gimmicks to me, but let’s give them a shot, shall we? Besides, you’ll likely get a chance to see how they behave in real life in 24 hours or so, when we’ll publish an exclusive hands-on review of the new Padfone Infinity.

ASUS PadFone Infinity 3 Asus unveils new Padfone Infinity: Snapdragon 800 CPU, tweaked camera, microSD support

But before then, let’s not forget to mention the phone’s design has only been ever so slightly tweaked (more details later), whereas the Padfone station is virtually identical to the previous generation, meaning you can buy the new handheld and use it alongside an old tablet dock. Isn’t that neato?

Also neato are the screen resolutions (1,920 x 1,080 pixels for the phone, 1,920 x 1,200 for the pad), 2,400 and 5,000 mAh batteries, 2 MP front camera, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and 4G LTE connectivity options. Oh, if only European and American carriers would decide once and for all to support this line and subsidize it…

Source: Chinese VR-Zone