Asus combines smartphone, tablet in Padfone

Computex — After teasing the Padfone with carefully cropped glamour shots, Asus finally revealed its tablet/smartphone hybrid at a press conference earlier today. Unfortunately, it didn't say much about the actual device or the underlying hardware. But, look, an uncropped picture:

So, what do we know about the Padfone? The smartphone fits into a small compartment at the back of the tablet that closes completely, so you don't have to worry about the phone falling out. It looks like the phone will be the brains of the operation, providing storage and 3G connectivity for the tablet (and likely processing, as well). As far as I can tell, the tablet component does little more than provide a larger screen and an auxiliary battery that can be used to charge the phone. The concept is an interesting one, and I can see the appeal for folks who want to be able to easily switch between a smartphone and tablet depending on the task.

In other tablet news, Asus revealed that it will begin shipping the Eee Pad Slider in June. The Slider is similar to the Eee Pad Transformer, but it integrates a keyboard directly into the system rather than having it as a separate accessory. Asus also provided an update on its 7" Eee Pad MeMO, which now has a 3D suffix thanks to the addition of a glasses-free 3D display. The MeMO uses an IPS panel and supports both finger- and stylus-based input. There's no word on when it'll ship, though.

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