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Asus Readies Tablet-Docking PadFone

Barcelona, Spain – Asus went to
the Mobile World Congress (MWC) with more details and a demonstration of its
planned Android-based PadFone, which physically docks with a 10-inch
tablet to operate as the tablet’s engine.

The combo can also be used with a
Bluetooth keyboard to deliver a laptop-like user experience.

The device, shown

a year ago

in mockup form, will be available in April, but the company
didn’t say whether a version for U.S. cellular bands will be available. Pricing
also wasn’t disclosed.

 The handset features Android 4.0 (Ice Cream
Sandwich) OS, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 8260A Dual-Core 1.5 GHz processor, and
4.3-inch qHD 960 by 540 Super AMOLED capacitive-multitouch display. The version
shown also features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and 4G HSPA+ 21Mbps cellular technology.
The 4G technology, however, operates in foreign 900Mz and 2100MHz bands.

 The phone measures 5.04 inches by 2.57 inches
by 0.36 inches, and it plugs into a slot in the back of the tablet, called the PadFone Station. The tablet’s 10-inch 1,280
by 800-pixel screen displays the phone’s full Android user interface, and it
delivers five times the battery capacity of the phone.

Other phone features include
assisted GPS, MicroSD card slot, and embedded memory of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.

 The phone weighs 4.55 ounces, and the tablet
weighs 1.6 pounds.

Bluetooth accessory can be used as a Bluetooth headset and also to draw and
write on the tablet screen.

Other tablet features include a front
1.3-megapixel camera for video chats. The tablet uses the phone’s 8-megapixel
rear camera as its own rear camera. The tablet is also equipped with micro-USB
and micro-HDMI ports.

In the U.S., Motorola offers Android-based
smartphones that physically dock in a recess in a device that looks like
a laptop and features 11.6-inch display and QWERTY keyboard.