A number of you have asked for this innovation over the past few months: a smartphone that docks into a tablet. Given that the two platforms generally share the same hardware, it seems to make sense. ASUS has heard your calls and today announced its Padfone, and no, I'm not joking about the name.

Building off of the expertise with the Eee Pad Transformer, the Padfone is a smartphone that's dockable into a tablet. The intelligence is entirely inside the ph...er fone part, the pad is strictly a display and extended capacity battery.

 

ASUS didn't announce anything on availability, internal specs or even what OS it would run. In one shot ASUS had a Windows interface and in another shot it had a Honeycomb interface. Clearly this is a work in progress but it's an interesting concept. Update: ASUS tells us that the Padfone will run Android and that the Windows interface was simply a mistake in the demo video. 

Gallery: ASUS Padfone

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  • mesiah - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    I'm sorry if you got offended by common sense. If I wanted to be offensive I would have said something like "You know, its just too hard to open my car door, I wish they would get rid of car doors all together."

    Technically, a sliding mechanism can be just as much of a hassle as the door, especially if it needs to somehow lock the phone in solid. Getting it lined up could take just as much time as opening a door. On top of that, it just doesn't look as sleek to have a phone slapped on the back of your tablet.

    You are right though, your opinion is the only one that matters. Anyone pointing out problems with it is obviously just trying to insult you.
    Reply
  • warisz00r - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    No, I mean the production PadFone may work in the same way is is now wrt it's docking mechanism, but the aesthetics and physical measurement may be different. Reply
  • Knifeshade - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    Next up they should make it so the smartphone can dock into an EeePad Transformer shell which in turn can slot into a laptop dock. THE ULTIMATE COMBO. Reply
  • dananski - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    Exactly what I was thinking. I'd probably buy that if they named it something better than Padfone... How about continuing the Eee brand and having an Eee Phone Transformer? Reply
  • BugblatterIII - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    And me; I've been waiting for that ever since the idea first occurred to me a couple of years ago. Thought we'd have to wait longer for phone tech to get powerful enough to make it a viable proposition but by the end of the year I reckon it'll be there (in fact it's pretty good now).

    Also, if they added wireless HDMI to the tablet I'd marry it! Imagine using the tablet and dragging windows to your TV or monitor! May not fit everyone's usage pattern but would be perfect for mine.

    In theory it should be possible to have another gfx chip in the tablet part and SLI with the one in the phone; after all tablets need more gfx power than phones.

    I'm guessing the pad wil have to be bulkier than most to house a phone though. Also it means you're tied to that particular phone. Both things I could live with however.
    Reply
  • khimera2000 - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    0.o with that kind of set up I could play music on an overnighter for the entire time there and not worry about it going dead o.0 Reply
  • PubFiction - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    lol so we are making a rube goldberg mechanism to finally get us back to the good old (now called) convertible tablet?

    Its funny how the market works. Take a single feature blow it out of porportion and convince everyone to switch over to it. Then slowly add back features they had in the product they gave up. Eventually after a decade they have reinvented the convertible tablet and called it innovation.

    This is what happened in the TV market. Everyone was convinced to give up their CRTs in the name of thin. But they sacrificed everything to get it. Then every 2 years they tried to sell you a new TV that was slowly adding back 1 by 1 features of the CRT.

    In this case I guess its all about battery life. We traded everything to get phone type battery life. About 8 hours or so. Now they slowly add back features. Every so slowly trying to get back to the point where you have a think pad again.

    Ask youself whats the point in disconnecting the keyboard? I mean if the keyboard is useful why not just keep it. Is the small space you save really that important when you take into fact that you will get caught in all sorts of places where you wished you had brought your keyboard? No what you will do is buy a laptop sized bag and shove all your crap in it. In which case you should have just bought a full sized think pad tablet. Or you will never take the parts with you anywhere in which case M$ mesh between a phone and a real computer would have done it all for you and had a ton more power and capabilities.
    Reply
  • mesiah - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    Although you were probably joking, Asus did say that their future tablets would be compatible with the transformer dock. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume they would allow this to dock with the transformer base. Reply
  • Chupathingy220 - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    This is pretty cool. But the question is, can you make phone calls while using the tablet? Reply
  • Elrondolio - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    The demo video they released during unveil has a guy answering the phone in tablet-dock mode using a bluetooth headset, so... yes. Maybe. If any of this is finalized.

    Basically, the tablet "is" the phone, or, the other way around actually. It'll use Ice Cream as the initial OS (or whatever follows IC when this is ready to launch), so when you dock the phone the UI simply scales up to the Pad screen's dimensions. The Pad has no OS of its own.
    Reply

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