ASUS has always been a bit experimental with its products. The company had a prototype dock-able tablet/laptop hybrid long before Windows 8 was announced.
Today ASUS announced the PadFone 2, an Android tablet that has a slot to dock a smartphone, which is included.
The package is an upgrade from the original PadFone, and the tablet, according to ASUS, has been completely redesigned. The 10.1-inch tablet now weighs just 649g, and the company claims that the combined weight of the smartphone and tablet is "lighter than most tablets on the market." The dock mechanism now only requires one step, and the battery is large enough to recharge the smartphone three times.
As for the smartphone, it now has a 4.7-inch screen and features a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP rear camera. It has NFC and 4G LTE capabilities.
Pricing for the PadFone 2 has not yet been announced, though ASUS did state that the device will come with "up to" 64 GB of storage. Also, customers who purchase a PadFone 2 will get 50GB of ASUS WebStorage free for two years.
The PadFone 2 may seem odd, but these tablet/laptop/smartphone hybrid types of form-factors are beginning to become popular with manufacturers. The philosophy seems to be that customers should want a single device that works in a myriad of situations, rather than several devices to cover all situations.