Thanks to a leak that spilled the beans on Asus’ Padfone device earlier, it’s not much of a surprise anymore. But hey, at least now it’s official. Asus has introduced the Padfone, the hybrid device that they’ve been teasing since last week, at Computex. It’s basically a 4.3-inch smartphone that slots into a 10.1-inch display, which the phone uses along with built-in speakers and a bigger battery pack, to give you a complete Android tablet experience.
The complete spec wasn’t given out, but this much was clear: the “Pad” part isn’t a standalone tablet. It looks like it’s going to be a simple a large display that sports a set of speakers and a battery that can be used to charge the phone. (Think of it as a multimedia dock… if docks were designed to be used as a full Android-based tablet.) All the smarts will come from the docked phone, which provides a single 3G data connection without having to pay for two data plans (or having to transfer a single SIM between two devices). The FonePad will also make use of the docked phone’s rear cam that shows through a hole on the rear door.
No word on when this kit’s due to ship (the device they showed off at Computex was a mockup), but an interview with Asus’ Benson Lin pointed to a launch around the end of the year, which also means that it could run on Google’s upcoming Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS.