ECS is toying with a product that resembles the Asus PadFone, in a nutshell, a tablet that becomes a docking station for your smartphone just by slotting it in at the back.
We spoke earlier today to Jaryson Wu, project manager at ICE Computer, ECS’ partner for the project and he presented us with a mock, non-working prototype.
While availability and pricing were unknown at the time of writing, he hinted that the tablet will come in at around $200 or less, should be released in Q3 and will be available from telco providers.
While the Padfone works only with Asus’ own smartphone, the ECS model will be open to other models and the one we played with was physically compatible with the Apple iPhone 4 (see below).
Wu reckons that the accessory will appeal to users because it doesn’t require them to ditch their existing handsets and will be compatible with future models using what Wu described as “simple upgrades”. The tablet will work across platforms; Windows Phone, Android & iOS which should include the iPhone 5.
Physically, the tablet is tapered from left to right and fitting the phone itself is a doddle. It has a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen with what appears to be a 4:3 screen ratio, just like the Apple iPad.
This could cause some issues though as the iPhone screen has a 3:2 screen ratio, which means that scaling the tablet can only be possible by adding black borders on both sides. It also has a front facing camera, an HDMI port, an SD card slot and two USB ports.