The PadFones 1 and 2 by ASUS are easily my favorite smartphone design concept because they allow you to take your PadFone and slide it into a tablet dock to instantly and conveniently transform it into a fully functional Android tablet.
Not only that, but you can then take that tablet assembly and slide it into a keyboard dock, similar to the Transformer series, so you can use it as a laptop replacement of sorts for productivity. While this kind of setup does promise a lot of flexibility and portability for improved productiveness, the platform where this would make the most sense isn’t Android, but Windows Phone. The good news is that ASUS already recognizes this and is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to create such a device.
[one_third]”It’s possible that the phone itself could run Windows Phone while the tablet dock would run Windows 8 or RT.”[/one_third]
Benson Lin, corporate vice president of mobile communication products for ASUS, said in a Wall Street Journal interview that such a smartphone/tablet hybrid concept is one that “makes sense for Windows 8”. While there are no solid dates yet, the company is definitely “interested in making Windows phones”.
Aside from Samsung, ASUS is among my favorite companies because of their Transformer and PadFone series, not to mention that Eee Slider tablet that featured a built-in slide out keyboard. Few other established companies have innovated smartphone/tablet form factors and convergence as ASUS have. So it’s hard not to get excited about a Windows phone/tablet hybrid that can take advantage of productivity apps, specifically the well-recognized Office software suite.
What’s not clear though is whether this new device would use the Windows Phone or Windows 8/RT platform. Right now, resolution restrictions prevent manufacturers from making tablets that run Windows Phone and phones from running Windows 8 or RT. It’s possible that the phone itself could run Windows Phone while the tablet dock would run Windows 8 or RT. But there’s a third possibility too. Windows Blue, an update set to roll out mid-2013, could change such restrictions, making it possible to create Windows 8 devices with smaller screens and improve interoperability between the phone and desktop platforms that ASUS can tap into to create a Windows-based PadFone device.