Turn your Galaxy S3, S4 into a tablet and a laptop

Summary:The concept of using a smartphone as a core module for a tablet or a laptop is nothing new. This upcoming product kicks it up a notch by turning a Galaxy S3 or S4 phone into both a tablet and a laptop.

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.

Migoal hybrid
Migoal TransMaker tablet docked in laptop -- Image credit: Migoal

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.

Migoal detached screen
Migoal TransMaker hybrid -- Image credit: Migoal

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.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Laptops, Smartphones

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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