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.

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 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?"

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.

View gallery - 4 images