May 29 AT 2:36 PM Taylor Wimberly 34 Comments

ASUS Padfone merges Android smartphone with tablet dock

What happens when you merge a smartphone with a tablet? You get the ASUS Padfone.

Evan Blass of PocketNow just posted some leaked photos that reveal one of the most interesting hardware ideas I have seen come to Android in awhile. The Padfone is a combination of a normal Android smartphone and a tablet accessory (appears to be 10 inch) that includes a special dock which completely consumes the phone when closed.

The concept is similar to what we saw from the Motorola Atrix 4G and its lapdock accessory which were a major disappointment, so hopefully ASUS has a few tricks up their sleeve to improve the user experience.

No details were provided about the hardware specs, but I’m going to assume the Padfone will feature a multi-core CPU to power that big tablet display. ASUS recently went with the NVIDIA Tegra 2 in their Transformer tablet, but they also have a working relationship with Qualcomm so we could see a new dual-core Snapdragon inside as well.

It was also reported that ASUS is working on devices with the upcoming Tegra 3 processor, but we don’t expect quad-core CPUs in smartphones until Christmas.

Hit up the source link for a couple more pictures. What do you think of this latest design from ASUS? How much would you be willing to pay for a tablet accessory that you could power with your smartphone?

Source: Pocketnow

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Vashishtha Jogi

    Great to see make some posts :)

    Padphone for sure looks like an innovative concept. Can’t wait to see it in real :)

  • http://Website jpb

    I like this idea and would definitely consider buying it so long as the tablet is not just a bigger phone screen. Requires at least Android 3.1, if not ICS.

    • jpnkevin

      Most certainly will have Android 3.1, it will be out on Eee Tab next week. This a product announcement padfone may not ship until ICS is out anyway.

      There’s no difference between a phone and tablet electronics-wise except the display, touchscreen, and battery capacity.

      What you get is two devices with the second device being 75% less cost. How it is priced may be a little different.

      From operating expense point of view you only have one plan not two. So the cost of the Padfone will pay for itself in a matter of months.

      Pretty nifty, wish I had thought of it.

      • http://Website Simon

        I doubt any phone will be released with honeycomb. until ice-cream sandwich is released, i believe we will see all phones coming out with some iteration of gingerbread.

        I think this padfone will be in the same category as HTC’s Flyer tablet (no honeycomb).

        • http://mobiledeviceinsight jpnkevin

          Padfone could run both Gingerbread and Honeycomb.

          If it`s possible to share phone functions then RF approvals would be less cumbersome.

          It is also possible to run virtual images simultaneously on a dual core Cortex A9

  • http://Website scorpiodragon

    nice concept. can u make a phone call using the tablet while the phone is inside? thickness would be a concern.

  • http://Website mike

    That’s sexy

  • AME

    It looks neat and I always appreciate innovation and new ideas, but what does this do that is innovative other than contain a phone? Why shouldn’t I just keep my phone (non-Asus so won’t fit inside this) and buy a Xoom or Galaxy Tab?

    I know this is not an official press release so I’m sure Asus will try its best to convince me. Maybe I’m just being short-sighted here, but I just don’t get what makes this better than a regular tablet.

    • http://Website ncb1010

      It may not be better, but it certainly will be cheaper.

    • http://Website Fahad

      How do you not see the obvious advantage of only having one data plan for both devices also this isn’t the full story the tablet also can be docked to a laptop dock so its technically 3 products in one! I really hope that Asus doesnt drop the ball on this, because I could easily see this as my next phone or device on the day it comes out!

      • Joey

        I agree this will be great, if they can keep the price at 499 I will buy it, and if I can use my transformer keyboard dock with it, then I will just sell my transformer on ebay and my current smartphone and will probably have a bit extra money from switching.

  • Max 404

    Looks very cool. I have seen other Tablets other than Atrix with similar concepts. Not nesasarly Android though.
    I would rather tether or blue tooth to the Tablet than lose use of the phones screen.
    Just me

  • http://Website T

    Won’t it just use the hdmi out port appearing on newer handsets?

    Seems an easy method with fairly low costs

    • http://Website Tyler

      Keep in mind that the ‘tablet dock’ will not only have to mirror the screen, but also be able to control it via the tablet screen. That means it wiill need more than just an hdmi connection.

      • jpnkevin

        The Tablet will get everything it needs from the USB interface on the phones docking connector.

        The tablet is essentially a display and touchscreen with $15 worth of electronics.

        The tablet will also have additional battery cells.Smartphones usually have about 7.5 watt hours of energy while tablets have about2 25 watt hours.

        Expect about 18 watt hours of cell capacityi in the tablet.

        If they were really innovative the tablet also has WiFi so that the phone can tether to the tablet while in a pocket or belt.

  • HeartDisk

    Cool Concept …

  • http://Website Simon

    Thats a really cool concept! but since the tablet will be a dock, It will only be running the software which exists on the phone.

    That means NO HONEYCOMB, and will ONLY be running gingerbread.
    Until ice-cream sandwich pops in.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      You never know. This thing could feature the new mobile Intel CPU, which I’ve heard is running Honeycomb already.

      • AME

        Which piece is “this thing?” The phone wouldn’t have Honeycomb, right? So if the dock/tablet part has its own chip running Honeycomb, what does it need the phone part for? It’s not like this is trying to be thinner than the Galaxy Tab so it’s going to use the phone’s hardware to offset some thickness.

        This just seems gimmicky. The Atrix may have failed, but at least its dock concept has legitimate purpose for each dock. I just don’t see that here.

        • http://Website Fahad

          I don’t understand how you could find it gimmicky…. I mean if you’ve ever played with a tablet you know its a far better platform to browse on than a phone so what if you could keep everything thats on your phone and just transfer it to a larger screen so you can easily browse web pages, play games, and text. Also when you leave your house you don’t feel like you’re lugging a massive tablet around all day you just take the phone part with you. Finally I stated above its also supposed to dock into a laptop dock much like the transformer thus giving it more purpose as well.

          • http://Website pjax

            Honeycomb has hidden Gingerbread. You can see videos of Honeycomb Tablets booting into Gingerbread after changing the pixels-per-inch setting

  • http://Website Peter

    Both the Atrix and the Tegra-2 were severely over hyped by Taylor.

    The Tegra 2 is only 1ghz, where as the snapdragon is 1.2 ghz, and being the “first dual core processor” means nothing until Android is optimized your dual cores.

    With the Atrix, it has moto-crap on it and it has a locked bootloader.

    Although both are great products, they totally didn’t deserve the huge hype that Taylor created.

    • http://Website Peter

      Typo correction: I meant to say “…means nothing until Android is optimized for dual cores.”

      -Swype fail!

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I still think dual-core CPUs deserve the hype. Android Gingerbread might not fully take advantage of multi-core CPUs like Honeycomb, but these Tegra 2 smartphones are extremely future proof and I’d still recommend them to anyone looking for a new Android phone.

      My comment in the article was to say that Motorola executed the Atrix lapdock very poorly. I don’t really think it had anything to do with the Tegra 2.

      • http://Website Peter

        I said nothing about the laptop dock. I said that the Atrix didn’t deserve your hype because it has moto-crap and it has a locked bootloader.

        With dual-cores in general, yeah I agree that they’re a lot better than the single core processors, but I think the dual core snapdragon is a better option because it has a higher ghz.

        • http://Website Fahad

          Specs aren’t everything it really comes down to real world application. Also I’m not really sure if he was hyping up the Atrix all that much I believe it was more of what it stood for. A uniform platform to handle all tasks rather than having separate devices for everything.

  • http://Website mk

    i think people will look stupid putting this tablet next to their ear

    • http://Website Fahad

      I think you’re stupid for making that comment, but than again the internet is full of stupid comments…

  • http://Website drone3

    Cool, is Taylor back or what?

  • priya

    Wow its really one..

    can anyone one buy me this one ??

  • nilo

    asus padfone is one of the best thing ever i ve gone through, for more details about asus padfone,

    check the following

  • DamirD

    I do not know why you would assume it needs a CPU to power the screen, just a straight microHDMI passtrough should be sufficient.

  • bender

    The current info going around is that the padfone will have a Tegra 3 SOC and run ICS, if thats true it will be my pick for my next phone

  • Ken

    I would definitely purchase that new type of Tablet. I am surprised that it’s taken this long for a manufacturer to come up with that idea, and I believe that an all in one phone/tablet is going to be the must have device of the future!