One of the most eye-opening, attention-grabbing pieces of future tech to hit CES 2011 was the Motorola Atrix 4G--not so much because of the phone itself, but because of its bold laptop dock, which promises a seamless transformation of smartphone into Netbook. Who needs a laptop, after all, when your phone can be both? Well, you've read Bonnie Cha's review of the phone. I'm interested, as a laptop reviewer, in how the Atrix functions as...well, a laptop.
The idea remains bold, and to Motorola's credit, the experiment has resulted in a product a mere month after CES. This laptop dock isn't vaporware. On the other hand, it isn't exactly a laptop, either.
A laptop, without the laptop What the laptop dock--or, Lapdock--is, in effect, is an extremely well-constructed dock for the Atrix phone, adding a long-life battery, a keyboard, a large touch pad, two USB ports, and a pair of stereo speakers. It looks like the Cr-48 Chrome OS laptop, and or even a sleek thin-and-light. At 2.4 pounds it's easy to tote, and has a sturdy feel when the lid is closed.
But it's not a standalone machine: The Atrix needs to be plugged in for the laptop dock to work. The good news is that the transformation is seamless and hot-swappable: Plug it in and the dock boots up. Unplug and the phone's back in your hand, ready to go. … Read more