ASUS unveils the PadFone – An Android phone that comes with a tablet dock

| May 30, 2011 | Reply

Motorola was first to market with an innovative laptop dock for their Atrix. Following the Atrix laptop dock release there were rumors of Moto having a tablet dock in the works as well, though we haven’t heard much about that since. Even if Moto has that one up their sleeves it looks like ASUS might be capitalizing on it before them.

Today at Computex 2011 ASUS unveiled the Padfone – An Android smartphone that comes with its own tablet shell for you to dock it to. Much like the Motorola laptop dock the tablet shell is not functional without the phone docked to it, but once you dock the phone you’ll enjoy extended battery life due to the extra battery contained in the shell. ASUS bills the display switching to occur dynamically, so no matter what you’re doing on the phone it will automatically and seamlessly expand to fit the tablet screen dimensions once the phone is docked.

ASUS showed a 4.3-inch smartphone mockup with a 10.1-inc tablet dock today, but they apparently have yet to settle on the final dimensions. It’s unknown which version of Android the phone will be running, but it seems like Ice Cream Sandwich (‘ICS’, the next version of the Android OS) would make the most sense. As a matter of fact ASUS’ Benson Lin, while not flat out stating that it will launch with ICS, pointed out to Engadget that you can’t launch a smartphone with Honeycomb as the OS. Take that as you will.

Some more little nuggets that Engadget was able to find out include: There will be other functionality enabled by the tablet panel, but that’s being kept under wraps for now. Compatibility between the display dock and subsequent phone generations is being contemplated but couldn’t be confirmed. The UI will be almost the same as its second-gen Android tablets, which will be released around the same time as the Padfone.

It’s looking like this release will be sometime around the Christmas holiday season.

I hope all of the other manufacturers are taking notice – it looks like ASUS is taking Android very seriously and is really focused on innovation.

Intrigued by this concept? Check out the handful of videos below, followed by the photo gallery!

ASUS Promo video

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqjoRMHyYQc&feature=player_embedded

ASUS Promo video

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRcx1rxTLG8&feature=player_embedded

Unveiling video by NetbookNews

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5aAOKJGBjo&feature=player_embedded

Engadget hands-on

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG1TaKb3okQ&feature=player_embedded

 

And last but not least – below is the full press release that talks about the PadFone as well as some other products announced by ASUS that we might or might not cover:

 

Source: ASUS  Via: Engadget, NetbookNews

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Category: Android News

About the Author ()

Co-owner and PR guy for GizmoNinja.com. I’m happily married and a father to a wonderful (most of the time) son. I work in the E9-1-1 software/data industry by day and am a tech loving geek in my spare time. I’m interested in all things tech, but am big into Android especially. I dabble in a little of everything – Android development, PC development, web development, etc – but am a master of none (not even close)… But I have fun doing it anyway! =P