Get Ready for a New Crop of Devices: Smartphone Docking Tablets

Looks like Motorola’s ATRIX faux-netbook docking setup has captured the attention of tablet producers. Two companies at Computex 2011 have just unveiled their vision for a tablet that’s powered by its paired smartphone. It’s unclear if or which OS the tablets will run on their own. What we do know is that these devices by ASUS and CMIT will be able to seamlessly work with their accompanying phones for wireless connectivity, app + file access, photo / video capture, video out, and even calls. The added benefit of these tablet docks — besides giving users a larger screen to enjoy — is that they provide extra battery life to the phone when docked. Does that mean it will extend the battery life since your using the tablet’s power or will the tablet give the phone extra juice when docked? At this point we don’t know for certain — most likely it’s the former. What do you think? Good idea or bad? If these type of tablets, can’t function on their own without the phone, I’d say: bad. Personally, I’d rather have two separate devices that are able to communicate with one another wirelessly and intelligently (see: TouchPad).

Engadget – ASUS Padfone coverage @ Computex 2011
Engadget – CMIT TransPhone details

New Details: Jkkmobile’s hands-on (see second video below) reveals that the tablet is just a screen for the Android-based phone and that the apps scale up for the tablet-sized screen thanks Android Honeycomb’s support for fragments. So… it sounds like, yup, the tablet can’t operate without the phone.



UDPATE: Folks are already starting to complain… Hey, you copied me! Always Innovating shouted out We did that first! when ASUS unveiled the ASUS Transformer hybrid tablet / netbook. Now Always Innovating is saying that ASUS has copied them again with the ASUS Padfone. Check out the video below and judge for yourself. Featured device: AI Smart Book. (h/t SlashGear)


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Filed in: Industry Buzz, Portable Media Players

2 Reactions to “Get Ready for a New Crop of Devices: Smartphone Docking Tablets”

  1. The Smart Book has been announced 10 months ago. I applaud innovation and creativity but only when it’s genuine (turning on the Xerox machine doesn’t count):!/ai_info/status/75258050784657409

    • I think there’s merit to both cases. ASUS didn’t do an exact copy of AI’s Touch Book or Smart Book, but it’s hard to deny they weren’t inspired.

      True to the name… I think Always Innovating is an innovative company — albeit one with a limited budget. Have you guys secured the patents for those ideas — i.e. the hybrid tablet / netbook and smartphone docking tablet? Sucks that you need such things in order to protect your IP. However, this is a page from Apple’s playbook that AI should probably follow.