ECS Demos Padfone-Like Protoype At Computex
Apparently Asus wasn't the only one thinking of ways to combine smartphones and tablets in a Voltron-esque fashion. Computer maker ECS, hours after Asus debuted the Padfone, demoed a non-functional iPhone like Padfone prototype.
The ECS offering is essentially a 9.7" iPhone tablet dock. Once the iPhone is inserted into the device, it outputs the iPhones video via HMDI to the larger tablet display. In addition to the larger screen the tablet housing adds an SD card slot, a front-facing camera, and two USB ports.
The most promising aspect of the device is it will work across multiple platforms, and be compatible with future phone models using "simple upgrades." It is interesting that ECS would allow the device to be used with multiple platforms, perhaps the connector in the docking slot is modular and can be changed out depending on the phone that is going to be inserted.
While it appears that the tablet dock itself will not run any software, one has to wonder if some sort of proprietary software will need to run on the phone to allow the larger touch surface of the tablet housing to manipulate the smaller device. I don't see Apple sanctioning something like this, but perhaps the Jailbreak community is where device could flourish. It is a smart move to say that this is not an Apple only accessory though. If it were easily attainable, and worked well with Apple products, but was not marketed as such, ECS might be able to skirt some of the legal trouble Apple could dish out.
It's an interesting accessory, and its hinted price point of $200 doesn't seem too ridiculous. Intriguing though it may be, the odds seem stacked against ECS's tablet dock in coming to market.