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Concept Fujitsu Lifebook comes with removable smartphone, tablet, and digital camera

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January 23, 2012

A designer's concept Fujitsu Lifebook would come with slots to insert a smartphone, tablet...

A designer's concept Fujitsu Lifebook would come with slots to insert a smartphone, tablet, and digital camera

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These days, your average tech enthusiast typically has at their disposal a smartphone, a laptop, a tablet, and a digital camera; and that's listing the bare minimum. That's quite a bit of processing power and storage space spread out among different gadgets. What if it were possible to link all those devices together into one convenient package that uses all that computing power at once? That's the idea behind one designer's concept for a Fujitsu Lifebook, which would come with slots for a smartphone, digital camera, and tablet, for them all to all work together as one super device.

The unique concept, dubbed "Lifebook 2013," comes from designer Prashant Chandra, who submitted the design to a competition held by Fujitsu. The laptop would feature fitted slots for various smart devices, but those aren't for your standard connectivity. Attaching a gadget to the Lifebook would bring all it's functions to the computer, including using its own processor to run some of the laptop's functions.

Attaching a gadget to the concept Lifebook will bring all it's functions to the computer, ...

Fitting the digital camera to the front would mean pictures could be downloaded to the computer or other devices. Sliding in the smartphone/mp3 player would allow music to be played and other data to be shared across devices. The Lifebook 2013 concept doesn't have a keyboard itself, since an tablet becomes the keyboard once slotted into place. The tablet can also be used as a second display (like a larger Nintendo DS) or as a digital sketchpad with a stylus. Aside from potentially reducing the overall cost, another advantage to this setup would be that all the devices can be synced and updated simultaneously from the same hub.

The concept Fujitsu Lifebook doesn't even have a keyboard itself, since the tablet becomes...

"The proposed Lifebook is a laptop computer concept based on the principle of 'shared hardware,'" explains Chandra. "Currently a lot of hardware is wasted when we use separate devices, as there is often a lot of 'repeat' of data stored and features. For example if I have my songs on my music player, why do I have to block the same amount of storage on my laptop? Similarly, if I have a processor sitting in my tablet, why can it not also run/assist my laptop? If I have a fully functional camera with its own memory and image processing power, why do I need to have it repeated in my laptop?"

A designer's concept Fujitsu Lifebook would come with slots to insert a smartphone, tablet...

Put this way it sounds like a logical step forward for the next generation of laptops, though there is the obvious question of being limited to the concept's constituent devices, which would clearly be a bit limiting for the consumer.

Chandra's Lifebook 2013 was shortlisted in the Fujitsu Design Competition 2011.

Source: Prashant Chandra via Yanko Design

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.   All articles by Jonathan Fincher
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12 Comments

"...being limited to the concept's constituent devices, which would clearly be a bit limiting for the consumer"

However this concept opens up the option of having snap-on bezels around the devices and standardized charging implements, if standard form factors emerge for tablets, is this really that far fetched?

Alexander Barnes
23rd January, 2012 @ 05:22 pm PST

Almost there! This is very close to what I think would be the perfect mobile system. However, there are some serious redundancies and performance killing design choices.

1) The phone concept is what I have been writing about for at least 1 1/2 years. Perfect! However, I don't think the camera and phone need to be different. There is now a very nice camera that runs the Android OS so all they have to do is include the communication chips and finally the lone camera no longer has to be bought and carried around. The placement of the camera on the system is great! That camera now acts as the laptop's rear facing camera. When the user wants to go out on a date, for example, he / she simply clicks out the phone (has the camera and communication chips) drops it in a pocket and is ready to go.

2) There is no need for the other tablet and nobody is going to use that electronic keyboard. It must be physical with a click. Additionally, there is no need for that extra tablet. The technology already exists to just use the tablet as the main screen and CPU and click it to the keyboard section. Just look at the Transformer Prime. Now add the phone / camera to the Transformer Prime and things are getting very close to ideal.

3) Just one final need is a place on the phone to store the ear / mic. While in you just use the phone as usual. When you click out the ear / mic, it automatically sends the voice / audio signals to the ear / mic. This way we can have a hands-off video conference with just a lift and a click. You lift the lid of the laptop, click out the ear / mic and the system knows a video call is very likely and asks if you would like to set that up. Say "yes" or touch the screen to confirm and within seconds the video call is connected and running.

Finally, the final mobile package size should be very close to the Ultrabook reference design or the Mac Air. Any bigger and it is too difficult to carry around for too long.

My wallet awaits this device!

TankThinker
23rd January, 2012 @ 06:22 pm PST

I'll be really surprised if this weirdo makes it beyong the 'concept' stage!

Gautam Gupta
23rd January, 2012 @ 08:15 pm PST

I agree with TankThinker ... get 'er done, wallets waiting !!

Brent Eagleson
23rd January, 2012 @ 09:47 pm PST

I will stick with my palm preIII HP tablet and olympus stylus 7040 14. mp, thanks, happy with what I have, and I have a 7 lb Pomeranian sitting next to me that belongs to my son's girlfriend that will rip your throat out if you disagree

Bill Bennett
23rd January, 2012 @ 10:13 pm PST

Makes sense, and the fact that its not a new idea suggests that something similar may actually happen soon.

http://www.techaworld.com/bento-book-the-all-in-one-box-computer/

James T
24th January, 2012 @ 02:41 am PST

A great GI-Joe multi-weapon and value add for the mfg but, let's be honest...it'll never sell except as a corporate mobile office or gift for the man or woman who has everything. Maybe there is a market there but a manual KB will be the first accessory to purchase as a glass tablet KB is, at best, a sometimes-useable feature.

Mirmillion
24th January, 2012 @ 09:03 am PST

Sign me up for one. How would the cell phone work? Do you buy it from a carrier or straight from Fujitsu? Either way I like where this is going. Make that Tablet maybe a little bit bigger. Do love the idea that all would be synced in a snap. Keep all my websites and passwords all together.

jacobedgel
24th January, 2012 @ 09:40 pm PST

I would totally buy this! I am planning a hiking trip which is over 2,000 miles the AT. In the trip I am planing I will be hosting a web page and getting sponsors to pay for miles towards cancer and multiple sclerosis. having a way to pack all of the electronics I would need to keep my sponsors up to date over a six month hike will be invaluable. In fact I have been looking for a way to keep in touch and edit my online content with the high standards of my photographic schooling. having everything in one could lighten my load and also minimize my dependency on recharging. If I could recharge the entire unit and decide on which device had priority It would cut down on the solar charger unit I was planing on taking on the trip.

Steven Davis
24th January, 2012 @ 09:43 pm PST

wow.....need i say more?????

Thirteenth Disciple
25th January, 2012 @ 04:03 am PST

Why not make the smartphone be the laptop touchpad?

I agree with having the tablet be the screen instead of keyboard... there's little use for the laptop screen when the keyboard is out being a tablet.

The laptop/tablet cam ought to be rotatable to back and front, why have two when one could just rotate? (Smartphone would have its own cam, no need for separate camera.)

Anona Mous
25th January, 2012 @ 12:43 pm PST

Full agreement with tank thinker. The smart phone and camera can clearly be one with enhanced features specifications. The laptop screen and tablet can be one. The LTE 4G complete phone package can be the wireless facility for the laptop, along with both the front and rear cameras of the phone. The lcd will also be thicker and carry processing power. Physical keyboard attachment is a must otherwise there will be no difference, and consumers' desires will not be met. We all dream of such devices, why don't companies actually talk to the consumer? Plus there can be a concept of shared processing, the phone doing lesser battery consuming tasks. There is so much we can dream of and completely possible today.

Dawar Saify
26th January, 2012 @ 07:12 am PST
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