Asus readying a phone and tablet called PadFone?

By on May 27, 2011, 1:30 PM

Update: The device is now official. Read more about it here: Asus unveils smartphone-tablet combo, the Padfone.

Asus has posted a teaser on its Facebook Page regarding a new device. Apparently the gadget "breaks the rules" by being a phone and a tablet at the same time. We're told it's coming on May 29, 2011. Computex Tapei 2011, where it will likely be shown off, is between May 31, 2011 and June 4, 2011. In short, the announcement will be next week.

It's not clear whether Asus is talking about one device that can work as both a tablet and a phone, or two that somehow work together. The image shows two devices, but it's still possible that we're seeing two units of the same device in different forms. Maybe Asus has created a device that can be folded out to be a tablet and folded in to be a phone?

That would probably make it quite heavy, so the other option is more likely. Asus could have created a phone that can be attached to a docking station. In this case though, the docking station is not just a charging pad, or full-blown laptop, but rather a tablet.

Either way, the company has filed for trademark at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO, via PocketNow): PadFone. This is not necessarily the final name, but it's an option.

Given that Asus has already released the Eee Pad Transformer, a tablet with an optional chiclet-style keyboard dock, this upcoming product does not surprise us in the slightest. It looks like Asus thinks tablets are not versatile enough and is willing to try new form factors until it finds a winner. I'm intrigued.

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