A concept Fujitsu notebook could pull together your notebook, tablet, smartphone and digital camera, according to one designer's convergence ambitions, with the Fujitsu LIFEBOOK2013 docking each mobile gadget into a core laptop chassis. Created by Prashant Kumar Chandra for Fujitsu's "A Life With Future Computing" competition, the concept consists of a roughly 17-inch notebook that uses a detachable touchscreen tablet as its keyboard; a smartphone docks into a slot at the front, lending its WWAN connection, while a digital camera slots into a cutaway on the lid.
The idea is reminiscent of ASUS' Padfone, which docks an Android smartphone into a larger screen section for tablet duty. However, unlike with the Padfone - the tablet of which is only functional when the phone is inserted - Chandra envisages each section of his LIFEBOOK concept being operable when separated. The laptop would have its own processor, storage, memory, optical drive and connectivity, similar to the tablet, each working standalone as well as synchronizing when brought back together.
That would increase cost but also flexibility, though you'd need to plug in an external keyboard if you wanted to enter text on the laptop while the tablet was undocked. On the upside, however, the processors in the tablet and phone could be used to augment the performance of the notebook itself, and handwriting entry or sketching would be easier.
Fujitsu hasn't given any indication as to whether it will be using Chandra's idea - or, indeed, any of the other entrants to the competition - for a future LIFEBOOK model. However similar propositions are apparently in the works; the i'm circle modular computer was announced at CES earlier in the month, sharing the intelligence of a wireless "core" pendant computer unit with various tablet, phone and display peripherals. That's tipped to go on sale later this year.