updated 05:25 am EDT, Mon May 30, 2011
ASUS reveals unique smartphone-tablet hybrid
(Update: OS details) ASUS has formally unveiled the Padfone at Computex 2011. Teased over the course of the past week, the new device converges a 4.3-inch smartphone with a 10.1-inch Android 3 tablet. ASUS claims that the device solves the problem of data transfer hassles and requiring multiple SIM cards, one for separate use in a smartphone and one for separate use in a user's 3G tablet. The Padfone has a smartphone, which docks inside the companion tablet to give users an expanded view to suit their tasks.
When docked, the smartphone can recharge by piggybacking on the tablet's larger battery. It also uses the smartphone's 3G capability to make an Internet connection. ASUS claims that the dual interface enhances a user's experience of both devices by harnessing the respective strengths of both form factors.
Details about the Android operating system and the hardware specs of the respective companion devices have yet to be finalized by ASUS. It has slated the device combo for a tentative fall release.
Update: The company's Benson Lion added that there would be more features in store than mentioned on Monday. He also hinted to Engadget that the Padfone's fall release might be owing to Ice Cream Sandwich since the phone couldn't run Android 3.