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VIDEO: ASUS Chairman Is No Steve Jobs

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In the race to come within shouting distance of the iPad, manufacturers have tried every trick in the book to draw attention away from the backordered device with their own tablet devices.

Thus far, Motorola released an honorable effort in the Xoom, though the tablet had a few glaring kinks -- like an exorbitant price tag -- that kept it from being a solid alternative. Samsung, meanwhile, is about to release its Galaxy Tab 10.1 which has already been called the best Android tablet to date -- but it's unlikely to sway many people from the iPad. And, although a noble effort, the BlackBerry PlayBook is still struggling to find an audience.

So that leaves the door open for a company to release a tablet device that'll blow the iPad out of the water. While the timing and magnitude of such a scenario is difficult to pinpoint, I'm going to wager a guess and say the ASUS Padfone will not be the one do to it.

What you see there is the Padfone -- an Android smartphone docked inside a tablet device, making for one awkward combination. As seen in this prototype, the tablet acts as a hub for the smartphone and allows for information to be transferred to and from either device. Although such a system could be conducted wirelessly, ASUS felt it better that users had to line up ports and snap both pieces of plastic into place.

And receiving a call is as easy as lifting the plastic covering, carefully removing the smartphone, and lugging around a useless piece of plastic while on the call.

"Useless?" you ask? Yes, useless. The tablet doesn't work without the smartphone docked inside.

So how's that Xoom look now?

But for a device on par with the Microsoft Kin or -- dare I say it -- the Nokia N-Gage needs an unveiling worthy of its awkwardness. Well, ASUS chairman Jonney Shih fulfilled that role beautifully with a stilted, bumbling reveal. Clearly, he's trying to emulate the casual grandeur of Steve Jobs -- even name-dropping the CEO in a cringe-worthy quip -- but with the added hand flourishes of Gob Bluth. And not only did the final presentation of the Padfone get tepid applause, even the name earned a nervous chuckle from Shih.

Clumsy. Misguided. Embarrassing.

Thank God they got it on video.

(See also: Apple's iPad No Match for HP Tablet, Says... HP and Apple iPad Will Fail, Says Dell Exec)

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