While we have seen wireless phones get laptop docks before, it looks like Asus is moving into the next phase of merging a smartphone with a notebook-like device. Today at the Computex PC trade show in Taiwan the company officially unveiled the Padfone. This Android-based device is supposed to allow for seamless connections and shared use for both its smartphone and its tablet-based PC.
The Padfone uses just one SIM card for both devices. Both are designed to work together to allow users to use the smartphone for many tasks. However if they need a bigger screen to perform jobs that can't be handled well by the smartphone, it can attach to the tablet for better viewing. Applications are shared between the tablet and smartphone as is the 3G access and the tablet can also serve as an extended battery for the smartphone.
Engadget reports that Asus is showing off the Padfone with a 4.3 inch screen for the smartphone and a 10.1 inch screen for the tablet at Computex. However the final dimensions have yet to be decided upon by Asus. There's also no word on what versions of Android the Padfone will run on. Engadget has also confirmed that the tablet portion of the Padfone is not a stand alone product; it will need the smartphone attached to it to actually work. At the moment Asus is saying it would like to see the final version of the Padfone available for sale by Christmas. There's no word yet on a price point. You can check out a promo video for the Padfone below.