Fujitsu ponders Lifebook laptop-tablet-camera-phone concept

If you have an obsessive-compulsive neat streak, rejoice for the four-in-one Fujitsu laptop-phone-tablet-camera.

Andrew Williams
2 min read

Trade in all that tech cluttering your desk, filling your pockets, spilling out of your bag in an unseemly scramble of silicon, because Fujitsu's new concept gives your gadgetry a group hug in the form of a four-in-one mega-laptop-tablet-camera-phone-zord.

This latest Fujitsu Lifebook design slots all four devices together into one powerful planet-defending piece of mega-tech, a bit like Voltron. The idea is that together they become greater than the sum of their parts, by integrating the technology. And of course, all four devices would be able to function separately. 

The Yanko Design website, where the concept features, airs the principle of 'shared hardware', which is behind the design. The thinking is that too much of your kit's potential is wasted. Because we use separate devices, we double-up on data -- such as our music libraries on our phone, tablet or laptop -- processor power, memory or functions like webcams.

Fujitsu Lifebook 2013

"If I have a processor sitting in my tablet, why can it not also run/assist my laptop?" the site asks. "If I have a fully functional camera with its own memory and image-processing power, why do I need to have it repeated in my laptop?"

Judging by the pics, the tablet would slide into a 16-pin connector in the base of the laptop to act as a touch-screen keyboard. There's a space for the digital camera in the laptop lid. And the phone integrates neatly by slipping into the base. One benefit is that it offers unified charging, and another is you can get rid of that tangle of wires you carry around everywhere.

The Crazy Engineers website says it's due for launch in 2013. Fujitsu has yet to confirm whether this incarnation of the Lifebook will walk the Earth or if it's an apparition dreamt up by an eager designer, so check the bottom of this story for updates.

In the meantime, the Asus Padfone is another split personality device expected to be officially launched in February at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Padfone is a sweet 4.3-inch slab of Ice Cream Sandwich-fuelled smart phone that slots into a tablet dock. 

All this follows in the footsteps of last year's likeable Motorola Atrix -- a mobile that can be slid into its own netbook dock, powering it from the handset's processor. That in turn may have taken its inspiration from the Modu phone, a tiny handset that slid into various 'jackets', all with different features.

Would you like to play Stickle Bricks with your gadgets, or do you think it's just a gimmick? Let us know in the comments below, or over on our Facebook page.

Update 23.01.12: Alas, sad news for all you fans of four-on-one fun, Fujitsu has got back to us and confirmed that while this concept was submitted for the Fujitsu Design 2011 award, it will not become an official product.

Fujitsu Lifebook 2013