The company best known for its EeePC netbooks, Transformer Prime tablet and Zenbook Ultrabooks is finally launching its most crazy product yet: the Padfone — a smartphone that can be plugged into a tablet docking station.
While most companies are looking to the cloud to provide seamless experiences between smartphones and tablets — syncing data to and from each device, Asus is going with something a more local. The dual-core 1.5GHz Padfone is the first smartphone that can plug directly into a tablet docking station.
Say you're working on a document on your Padfone and need a larger screen. No biggie. Simply pop open the hatch on the back of the Padfone docking station and stick that Padfone in. Boom. Your 4.3-inch smartphone just became a full-fledged 10.1 Android tablet — and it brought all of your phone's apps, settings and data with it.
Asus could have stopped right there, but it didn't. You can also plug in a keyboard dock into the newly formed smartphone/tablet, effectively transforming your tablet into a netbook!
Now for the bad news: all three components are on the expensive side. The Padfone smartphone costs about $610, $850 with the tablet docking station and $980 with the keyboard dock and launches in Taiwan on April 20. Tough noogies if you don't live in Taiwan because Asus hasn't announced any plans for the trio of parts for other regions.