Taiwan's Asustek Computer demoed an interesting concept of a smartphone which docks into a tablet at the Computex IT trade fair in Taipei.
The phone-tablet hybrid is called Padfone. Engadget reported that the tablet-phone combination comes in a 10.1-inch tablet dock and a 4.3-inch smartphone. It is surmised that the smartphone will run on Google's latest version of Android for phones, the Ice Cream Sandwich.
The tablet by itself does not have any computing power. The tablet comes alive when the phone is docked to the tablet. The tablet sports a screen, extended battery life, speakers and I/O extender.
The idea seems to be an extension of Motorola's Atrix smartphone which was released at the CES 2011 in January. The Android 2.2 phone is powered by a Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and has powerful specs like 960x540 screen resolution and 1 GB RAM.
However the most compelling feature of the phone is its docking feature which turns it into a laptop. The laptop dock has an 11.6-inch display full keyboard, speakers and a 36Wh three-cell battery that provides up to eight hours of battery life. When the Atrix is docked into the laptop, its Linux OS comes into play and runs only three apps -- Firefox for browsing, a file manager and Android apps in a window. Thus, one can run content stored in Atrix on a laptop. Atrix with a laptop dock costs $499.99.
ASUS Padfone and Motorola Atrix share the same design in which the compute power and intelligence is stored in the phone which can extend into a tablet and laptop with a dock.
However ASUS has taken the idea and implemented it on a tablet. ASUS did not reveal any details about the launch date or specifications of the unique device.