Chinese firm Migoal is preparing to release an interesting accessory for the popular Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 smartphones. The TransMaker is a tablet that uses one of the phones as a core module. The phone is slid into a dock on the back of the tablet which activates the 10.1 or 11.6 inch (two sizes available) display, turning the phone into an Android tablet.
The tablet has no processor, wi-fi, memory, or storage as the phone serves all of those functions. There are no cameras on the tablet and it looks like the phone would have to be removed to use its camera.
A tablet using a phone as the core has been done by Asus with its Padfone, but it's not been a big seller. Where Migoal is hoping to make a difference is the TransMaker doesn't stop at just a tablet. Like hybrids before it, the Migoal offering includes (not clear if extra cost) a laptop dock that the tablet can be plugged into to turn the 3-piece gizmo into an Android laptop complete with trackpad.
The TransMaker from Migoal is the first device I'm aware of that can be used as both a tablet and a laptop, using a smartphone as the core module. Both the tablet and laptop dock have batteries so run time should be quite long.
There is no indication what the pricing will be for either the 10-inch (TR-10) or the 11-inch (TR-11) model and they are not available for purchase yet. According to the product web site Migoal will be showing the TransMaker at the IFA show in Berlin in September.
Let's hope this product actually makes it to market as it is an interesting concept that is different from all the hybrids currently being sold. The Galaxy S3 and S4 are phones with enough horsepower to easily power a tablet and the laptop dock.
Motorola tried running a laptop with its Atrix smartphone, a failed effort given its high price and clunky docking mechanism. The price of the TransMaker will have to be low enough to give it a chance to succeed where the Atrix failed, and the added functionality of being both a tablet and a laptop brings more to the table.