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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  • HMTK - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    If there aren't any mechanical problems with this thing this is a good idea. And why not make it more general in the future? Touchscreen + battery to connect to ANY smart phone. Reply
  • hughlle - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    Certainly seems to be a much better idea than the laptops with removable tablets. Reply
  • ahmedz_1991 - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    absolutely agree with u Reply
  • marc1000 - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    anyone noticed that the PORT arrangement on this phone is very similar to the one on Motorola Atrix? if this placement and port types create some kind of "standard", we could see interchangeable "screens" to attach to our phones in the near future! Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Does asus have the kind of leverage needed to concoct a standard padfone docking interface, and actually get the phone makers to adopt it? If they do it right we could see tablet docks for under $100, and with a dockable phone you can then start cutting out some of the display costs on the smartphone.

    They need to keep the phone's screen outwardly accessible to use as a rear touchpad for the tablet.
    Reply
  • jjj - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    Not thin enough and the docking system is not simple enough,it is however good that at least they are trying.Curious what they'll do about the software,wait for Ice Cream Sandwich,dual android (unlikely even it might be the best option) or go for 2.3 (Windows doesn't seem like a vialble option (anytime soon) at all if you take 2 seconds to think about it and MeeGo could use some more mainstream products first). Reply
  • warisz00r - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    It's not the final design. Reply
  • jjj - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    Engadget is talking now about a dec release and assuming Ice Cream Sandwich.As for the docking solution,if it's not the final design, it would be nice if the phone could easily slide in and out. Reply
  • mesiah - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    The docking solution looks simple enough to me. Open the door, snap it in, close the door. You don't want a simple slide mechanism if you are going to be tossing a tablet around. The phone could easily detach its self. If this had a keyboard like the atrix it would be different, you aren't holding a netbook in your hands and or changing its orientation constantly. The door keeps the phone nice and secure, and if the extra 2 seconds to open and close a door is too much, then apple really has melted everyones brain. Reply
  • jjj - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    It's nice that you feel the need to insult people for no particular reason .
    Besides that,yes 2 seconds matter and it's a pain in the a$$ compared to a sliding mechanism that secures the device properly when docked (sliding and secure are not mutually exclusive).How would you like it if every time you had to use your laptop you would have to first insert the battery and when you turn it off , take it out again? The solution Asus decided to adopt is not convenient enough,especially when there are far better options
    Reply

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