With 50 or more tablets set to hit the market soon, starting with the iPad, there’s one thing that many people will notice is missing: keyboards. Sure, these tablets will have on-screen keyboards. And I dare say computer peripheral makers will be pumping out USB and Bluetooth keyboard accessories like nobody’s business. But the crazy designers at Yanko Design have come up with one of the coolest concepts I’ve seen.
Here’s the idea. You get a touchscreen tablet that lets you surf the web, watch videos, and do whatever else it is you want to do with a tablet. But when you want to do some serious text entry, you plop it on a table, open the kickstand on the back, and — here’s the cool part — you pull out your smartphone, open it up to reveal a QWERTY keyboard that works with the tablet.
The phone and 7 inch tablet batteries can be charged independently of one another. But the devices are made to work together, and you can even connect them to each other via a magnet to charge both batteries with a single adapter.
There is one catch. Because the phone is basically all keyboard, most of the computer components are tucked away in the tablet. In other words, when the keyboard is folded up in phone mode, it’s actually the tablet that makes the phone calls. You just use the phone/keyboard to dial numbers and talk. So the phone isn’t much use without the tablet. And who wants to carry around a tablet in their bag everywhere they go just to make phone calls?
Of course, the device is only a concept for now, so there’s plenty of time for someone to figure out how to improve the design and make the phone actually useful as standalone device.
You can find more photos at Yanko Design.