Photos of Asus PadFone, which fuses a tablet with a smartphone have surfaced on the Internet even before it has made its debut at Computex 2011, giving rise to the billion dollar question - will the idea catch on?

Padfone is the result of an engineering marvel as one can nestle its new Android smartphone into a docking bay - a hollow carved out space - in the back of its larger companion - a tablet.

The docking bay comes with a small door that closes behind it, snugly storing the smartphone out of sight.

Rumors have it that the smartphone will come with a 3.8-4 inch display while the tablet will feature a 10-inch screen and run on 1GHz processor. DMI port, front facing camera for video calling and stereo speakers haven't been ruled out.

The photos, first leaked by, suggest that even when docked, the smartphone's camera can be used, thanks to a hole on the rear hatch.

Specific details of what the dock will be capable of doing are still not known.

The unusual hybrid device reminds us of Motorola Atrix 4G though the two are not complete identical. Unlike PadFone, Atrix smartphone plugs into a laptop-like companion, complete with a keyboard and screen.

The billion dollar question now is - will the idea catch on?

The answer is no. Don't expect to see everyone lugging a PadFone anytime soon.

Why? Because in an era when one is expected to carry multiple gadgets everywhere, almost everyday, though PadFone attempts to be the Swiss army knife of mobile devices, it does a poor job at that.

However, don't get me wrong. The concept itself is sound and PadFone ranks high on the coolness quotient. With PadFone, one doesn't have to worry about creating wireless hotspot or separately carrying other traditional tethering devices.

But I don't see the idea catching on, not like the iPad at least.

The intriguing device is certain to get into the hands of some early adopters, but don't expect iPad-like popularity. Not just yet.