ASUS PadFone Smartphone/Tablet Unveiled: Christmas Release?

It was only a few days ago that we gave you some information about an ASUS tablet-phone hybrid development being teased on Facebook. We now hear of leaks of a product which is titled the ASUS PadFone which looks like an Eee Pad Transformer-like tablet combined with a smartphone which fits neatly into the back of the device. It’s been unveiled along with a possible Christmas release date and is sure to attract a lot of attention.

It’s too early for much on specs but it looks as though the tablet part will have a 10.1-inch display and the smartphone which docks into it appears to have HDMI and USB ports. There’s also a hole on the reverse of the hatch, apparently so you can use the 5-megapixel camera on the smartphone for pictures, according to Chris Davies on SlashGear. The slate part of the pairing also looks to have stereo speakers and a front-facing webcam.

It’s not yet clear which OS will be used though Davies suggests it could be Ice Cream Sandwich, the next major Android OS, which it’s been reported is being developed for both smartphones and tablets, rather than 3.0 Honeycomb which was tablet-specific. Meanwhile we’ve spotted another report on the PadFone from Vlad Savov over on Engadget, who has seen the unveiling of the device. For now it’s a mockup device and you can also see a video over on the Engadget link, but Savov points out that the tablet part of the deal will not be able to be used on its own, rather it acts as an extension of the smartphone offering a larger display, speakers and extended battery.

Plans for its launch are being targeted around Christmas and Savov notes that although Benson Lin of ASUS was cautious not to reveal the OS that it will ship with, Ice Cream Sandwich would be the obvious choice as Lin points out that a smartphone will not launch with Honeycomb. The photos look pretty promising to us but we wonder what you think of the PadFone? Why not let us know by sending us your comments.