ECS tablet dock

Asus isn’t the only company looking at ways to let you use a smartphone as a tablet. The Asus PadFone consists of an Android smartphone that functions as the brains of a tablet when you slot the phone into a tablet shell. But ECS is showing off a prototype of a tablet shell that could work with a wide range of phones.

The idea is that you would pay $200 for the tablet dock and then slide your iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone device into a slot. Then you could use the 9.7 inch capacitive touchscreen display to interact with your phone’s operating system.

Right now the company is showing off a non-working prototype so it’s not clear how the thing is supposed to make your smartphone software work on a big screen. For instance, an 800 x 480 pixel phone will you be stuck looking at 800 x 480 pixels on the 9.7 inch display as well? And if so, what’s the point in having a larger display? If the ECS device can increase your pixel resolution, how does it handle different aspect ratios? For instance, an iPhone has a 3:2 display, while the tablet shell has an iPad-like 4:3 display. That could lead to some extra black lines around the edges.

The prototype also has an HDMI port, SD card slot and USB ports as well as a camera. It’s not clear if ECS actually expects those to work or if the company is just being optimistic at the moment.

I like the idea of a $200 device that turns a phone you already have into a sort of PadFone… I’d just like to have more details about how the thing is supposed to work.

You can find more photos at IT Pro Portal.

via 9 to 5 Mac

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3 replies on “ECS wants to turn your smartphone into a tablet”

  1. I sort of like this…  Except it’s thick, and looks heavy…

    This makes sense if all you think about tablets is as an interim device… I think there’s the potential that they’ll become a lot more than that because they’ll have the battery capacity that phones will always lack, and enough screen real estate to do work on without having to compromise design much…  Which then makes the aesthetics of a device like this problematic.  Without seeing it in person or side by side to say an iPad, it’s hard to tell, but the ergonomics of the device may make the concept something of a non-starter…  At least until someone makes a device that is thin with a bubble for the phone to fit in, but then there’s the weight distribution issue to overcome.

    Inherently I think it makes more sense to have a bluetooth tether/handset kind of deal to allow you to interact with a phone enabled tablet than this does.  But that could just be me and the fact that I always either have a backpack or folio notepad on me anyway, so carrying a tablet with me isn’t anything really additional, and could in fact cut down the size and weight of my standard load out.

  2. This, to me, makes much more sense than purchasing a separate tablet that is hardly more than a glorified smartphone. 

    Why purchased an Android tablet only to find out that you still use your smartphone and netbook way more and the tablet just kinda sits on the desk looking pretty, with it’s enticing but not quite refined cool technology, and not doing much else. I can speak from experience on this as I’m sure a few others can as well.

    On the other hand this concept is quite appealing for many reasons. No more spending $800 on a tablet with 3g/4g…spend $200 and get the same (hopefully) end result. 

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