Xiaomi, Hasbro now crowdfunding a Transformer "tablet"

While Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is renowned for its myriad of fast-selling smartphones, its tablet selection, in contrast, is dreadfully sparse. It has just revealed one such device in the works, but this tablet is definitely more than meets the eye. If that line and the title above wasn't yet a dead giveaway, will come clean immediately. Xiaomi is crowdfunding what does seem to be a perfectly normal tablet, except it isn't. Made together with acclaimed toy maker Hasbro, this slab actually morphs into a robot in the vein of the Transformers line of toys.

While most of the Transformers robots disguised themselves as vehicles or animals, or even whole cities and planets, a select few have taken up more mundane objects as their forms. Most notable are the Decepticon Soundwave and the Autobot Blaster, both of home transformed into cassette tape players popular in that era. Today, however, tablets have displaced those as go to entertainment devices, so it seems only fitting that we get a Transformer tablet as well.

Coincidentally, this Transformer is actually Soundwave himself, who happens to be one of the more popular Decepticons around. Except now as a Mi Pad 2 tablet. And quite appropriately, just like the tape player version of the toy, this tablet isn't functional as a tablet either. Yes, this is practically a Transformers toy made by Hasbro and Xiaomi, bearing Hasbro's Transformers trademarks and Xiaomi's Mi Pad design and logo. It's not even a smart toy of any kind, which might be a bit surprising for Xiaomi. Then again, Xiaomi is getting into all sorts of products these days. Too bad ASUS didn't come up with this partnership back when it introduced its Transformer line of devices.

Sadly, this is one toy you can't buy yet. Or at all unless you're in China. For one reason or another, Xiaomi and Hasbro have taken to crowdfunding to setup pre-orders and sales of the toy. Not that they are actually in need of funds. A pledge of 169 yuan ($26) gets one Soundwave tablet. The campaign has raised more than three times the funding goal already so that much is sure. Delivery is estimated to take place 13th of May.

SOURCE: Hugo Barra

VIA: Gizmodo