Is it a Pad? Is it a Phone? Wait - It's a Padfone. Yes, that's right. It's an Android phone that can dock into a tablet and Asus thinks it's the next big thing. They could be right. The smartphone boasts of a 4.3-inch and the tablet has 10.1-inch display. The transition between the activities performed on the smartphone and the tablet will be seamless, according the Acer reps who unveiled the device at Computex 2011. The launch date and price of the device is still not known.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer
Featuring Honeycomb OS and an IPS display, this tablet has one of the best viewing angles available on any tablet in the market. Despite running Honeycomb OS and boasting of an HDMI out, the device is called a transformer because it has the ability to be docked into a keyboard and work like a netbook. The keyboard peripheral will cost you an extra $100. Priced at $400, this is one of the cheapest tablets available in the market but is bigger and bulkier than the iPad 2.
Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t
A swivel screen is always cool and the Lenovo IdeaPad uses exactly that. The Lenovo s10-3t combines the goodness of a swiveling touch screen and keyboard all in a small form factor. When the keyboard is activated, it runs Windows 7 but when it's removed it runs the Bumptop UI, which optimizes Windows 7 for multi-touch. Overall, the setup is not ideal but we do get an Intel Atom powered device which is more than handy for everyday use. Any resource intensive work, though, will not be a walk in the park.
The Motorola Atrix gets transformed into a netbook once we attach the phone to its keyboard dock. Once paired with the keyboard, it runs a Linux based operating system rather than Android, but runs all the Android apps in a window. The whole arrangement is pretty sophisticated. We are only scratching the surface here, as there are a number of more custom docks available for the Atrix, which transforms it beyond a netbook. The phone alone costs $200, but add the outsized $500 price tag of the dock and you get a pretty expensive netbook.
Acer ICONIA W500
The Acer IconiaW500 is yet another tablet armed with the misfiring Window 7 touch operating system. But interestingly it comes with a keyboard dock, which adds USB functionality and greater battery life. The screen itself is a 10.1 inch one with a resolution of 1280x800 but the main problem is the poorly designed keyboard dock which is always stuck in a slanted position, making it awkward to use while docked. The only saving grace is the AMD Fusion processor powering it, providing decent horsepower for every-day use. At Rs 32,499 it is an expensive novelty item.
Dell Insipiron Duo
The Lenovo IdeaPad uses a swivel screen, but Dell pushes the envelope further with a screen that rotates 180 degrees in the Inspiron Duo. The device also gets an Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.5 GHz with two cores and 2GB of RAM. To our dismay, once again a Windows 7 device is mashed up with Dell's Stage UI. Clearly, Windows 7 is not meant for the tablet form factor. At a price point of $550, the deal just becomes sourer, but if you dig the wacky transforming form factor - check it out, it will grow on you.
Fujitsu Lifebook T580
The Lifebook T580 is not your run of the mill transformer PC. While, like other transformers, it features a 10.1-inch multi-touch swiveling display, it boasts of some real horsepower in the form of the Intel Core i3 and i5 processors. Though it is yet another device running Windows 7, the extra power in the belly will speed things up for sure. A starting price tag of $1399 might be a bit rough, but for those who want the muscle of a full Windows Laptop and the magic of the tablet form factor, then this is the ultimate combination.