Asus PadFone concept tablet/smartphone combo gets official press shots and an announcement
At the Computex 2011 expo Asus announced the PadFone concept, a very interesting smartphone/tablet combo, which allows you to dock an Android smartphone into a shell with a larger screen real estate, to make a tablet. Screen sizes haven't been finalized yet, but for the demonstration Asus used a 4.3" screen for the phone to a 10.1" display on the tablet section. The shell only contains a screen, stereo speakers and a battery pack, with the smarts seemingly coming from the phone itself.
Unlike the Motorola ATRIX 4G and its laptop dock, the handset slides whole into a dedicated compartment, and a lid hides it in, leaving unsuspecting friends with the impression that you are rocking a 10" tablet only. The tablet shell has its own juice pack, similar to what Asus did with the Eee Pad Transformer, where a separate battery in the dock gives you 8 more hours of juice. The larger battery of the tablet chassis will be charging the PadFone, when tucked-in, while the 3G radio of the handset will be used for data connection in tablet mode, if there is no Wi-Fi hotspot accessible nearby.
Asus promises seamless transition from the phone to the tablet screen and vice versa, which again makes us think that the final product might feature Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which will be combining Android's phone and tablet interface experience.