The wily Asus Padfone set for MWC release?

Apparently the mythical Asus Padfone, a wild mobile device that swaps between tablet and smartphone, will officially be unveiled at Mobile World Congress.

The Asus Padfone, introduced at Computex, features a 4.3-inch Android smartphone and a 10.1-inch tablet dock. Asus

Many a gadget hunter has searched for the mythical beast known as the Asus Padfone, but new reports suggest it could officially arrive at Mobile World Congress next month.

From the Motorola Atrix phones to the Samsung Galaxy Note , convertible or hybrid mobile computing products are a new trend to watch. Asus also made waves with the Transformer Prime, a tablet that connects to an external keyboard letting it morph into a laptop.

Now another of the company's fabled gizmos, the Padfone, is likely to become reality at the MWC show in Barcelona, Spain. Android site Android Central reports that Asus sent out press event invites all but confirming a genuine and imminent Padfone launch.

What makes this device so interesting is that instead of using a laptop dock to change it into a netbook-style computer, users can place the Padfone in an accessory that gives the phone tablet capabilities. Of course conventional Android tablets have trailed behind the Apple iPad in terms of sales, to put it mildly. The million-dollar question is whether customers, regardless of country, really want a product like this.

I say if the tablet dock for the Padfone isn't outrageously expensive, say $100 or less, then the Padfone has a chance of success.

Better yet, if the dock can accept a wide range of smartphones using a standard Micro-USB connector, then I see real demand here. I mean who wouldn't want a gizmo that not only would boost your phone's screen size but offer enhanced battery life (via a second bigger battery) too? Sadly though I don't think either of these wishes will materialize.

About the author

Brian Bennett is senior editor for appliances at CNET and reviews a wide range of household and smart-home products. These include everything from microwave ovens, blenders, ranges and coffee makers to personal weather stations. An NYC native, Brian now resides in bucolic Louisville, Kentucky where he dreams of someday owning the sparkling house of the future.

 

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