I-mate's Windows 8-powered smartphone can transform into a desktop suite

Called the Intelegent, it looks like any other 4.7-inch smartphone, but is powered by an Intel 'Clover Trail' Atom processor, and can transform into an entire desktop suite.

Like Windows 8? Then how about a Windows 8-powered smartphone? A little-known company — which once used to make Windows Mobile devices — called i-mate thinks this will be a hit.

Called the Intelegent, it looks like any other 4.7-inch smartphone, but on the inside it is very different. The handset is powered by an Intel "Clover Trail" Atom processor, which gives the smartphone more horsepower than most tablets, and features 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

All this can be yours for $750, which sounds like a lot, but is in fact less than an iPhone with comparable storage.

Image: i-mate

The Intelegent is part of a larger desktop dock system called the "Hub". Dock the handset in the hub, it is transformed from a smartphone into wired phone handset that can also be used to make video calls. The smartphone also becomes the brains of a desktop PC, complete with a 23-inch touchscreen display, keyboard, and mouse. It also powers an auxiliary wireless tablet with a 10.1-inch display.

Image: i-mate

The price for this system: A cool $1,600.

This is certainly an interesting idea, but I'm not sure if buyers — enterprise and consumers — are ready to combine a smartphone with the rest of the kit they have on their desktop. The whole idea behind BYOD is having the freedom to choose from a variety of hardware. I-mate's vision seems to be one of forcing users down the path of using one device.

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