Phone, tablet, laptop all-in-one: Asus debuts new Padfone

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Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to carry around their smart phone, tablet and laptop computer. Asus is trying to make that an easier proposition.

The Taiwan-based company known primarily for its laptop computers introduced a revolutionary new product at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. The Padfone promises to serve as your phone, tablet and laptop all in one convenient tool.

The product in its most basic form is a typical Android smartphone. The phone features a 4.3-inch display screen and offers a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and VGA front camera.

But with the Padfone, consumers may feel like they are playing with a Transformers toy.

When users slide the phone into the back of the Padfone Station, the basic phone turns into a 10.3-inch tablet. The station includes a battery charger that provides up to 16 hours of tablet-phone use. While in tablet mode, users can navigate through their phone's Android operating system with a larger screen.

One of the more intriguing options in tablet mode in this seemingly plain stylus pen. Like the rest of the product, however, the stylus becomes a Bluetooth headset for incoming calls that may arrive while you are "tablet-ing."

And the Padfone's multi-function capabilities do not stop there. Users can connect the tablet to another docking station to turn it into a fully-functioning laptop computer. This dock includes a keyboard and a trackpad, creating a more user-friendly interface for people who have to do some heavy-duty web surfing or document typing.

The product will certainly have many advantages. Consumers will no longer need to transfer files between their phones, tablets and computers. The Padfone makes for seamless transitions between the three devices and users only need one SIM card to run the products.

But despite the many uses of the Padfone, some questions surrounding the product do exist. For one, Asus currently has no carrier contracts with American cellular providers, meaning the product will only have connectivity in certain countries outside of the United States. This could certainly change in the future as more phone companies are introduced to the technology.

Additionally, all docking stations for the Padfone will be sold separately, raising concerns over the overall cost of the product. The phone comes in the original package, but to turn it into a tablet or laptop, users will have to purchase more products.

Asus announced that more information regarding pricing and availability will be released in April.

The company, which was founded in 1990, produces motherboards, monitors and servers in addition to its phones, tablets and personal computers.

View the Padfone

Image Source: Twitter (@ASUS)

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