Motorola dual-core Android phone to pull off laptop trick?
The smartphone that thinks it's a notebook
CES 2011 Motorola's Atrix smartphone will be coming to the UK courtesy of Orange. Just another Android handset, you say, but it's the Atrix's accessories that make this gadget stand out as much as its spec.
Atrix the phone
The Atrix will sport a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of Ram and 16GB of on-board Flash storage to which you can add the contents of a 32GB Micro SD card if you wish. It's just 11mm thick. It has a "qHD" 960 x 540 24-bit colour screen, 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, and tri-band cellular connectivity.
A great spec for a phone, but Motorola will also offer an accesory that turns the Atrix into a laptop.
Slot Atrix into the Laptop Dock...
It's a Qwerty keyboard, 11.6in screen and battery all in a slimline metal covered case. The Atrix clips snuggly into a dock behind the screen and provides the unit's memory, storage and processing power.
Essentially, it's a way to equip the phone with a large screen, stereo speakers and a keyboard without having to muck about with Bluetooth or cables. Its own battery has an eight-hour runtime, reduced if it also has to charge up the Atrix's 1930mAh power pack. It weighs 1.1kg.
...open up the clamshell...
It's reminiscent of Palm's poorly received 2007 Foleo - rudely dubbed the 'Faileo' - and similar products offered for Windows Mobile smartphones, such as Celio's Redfly. None sold particularly well, but Motorola is banking on the performance of the Atrix's dual-core CPU, Android and the fact it's equipping the phone with a full version of the Firefox 3.6 web browser will tempt punters put off by such gizmos in the past.
The Laptop Dock runs its own UI on the phone, but also presents the handsets Android UI in a window. The Dock will come with Citrix software to allow it to access and run desktop apps remotely.
...and - voila - a big-screen browser, connectivity permitting
Motorola Atrix is expected to be available to Orange UK customers in Q2. Motorola said Atrix would ship with Android 2.2 Froyo, but pledged to follow this up with a 2.3 Gingerbread update. ®
beware Moto's "update"schedule
Looks interesting, with more phones catching up spec-wise I even expect some third-party will come up with a universal "laptop add-on" with matching app. I'd be wary of buying Motorola though, I am a Milestone customer and flash still doesn't work on it, one of the reason I had bought it. Check out their Facebook page and forums, it's enlightening...
If it were built by anyone else...
If it were built by anyone else I'd be a little excited, but as it's by Motorola, I'm not.
They are a bunch of lying sacks of shit, and once they've sold the units they won't release updates, and will probably require digitally signed ROMs like they do with all their current Android Phones.
The refuse to provide updated ROMs, and prevent anyone from doing it for them. Nice.
Milestone user here still waiting on 2.2 and Flash :-(
"Motorola said Atrix would ship with Android 2.2 Froyo, but pledged to follow this up with a 2.3 Gingerbread update. "
Really nice piece of kit, I'd really want to want one. But I'm a Motorola customer, I bought a DEXT with Android 1.5 on it because it was a nice phone and they said they were going to update it to Android 2.1
I'm still waiting.
Motorola: great hardware but complete lack of customer service and software updates. Avoid.
I reckon a lot of people used your reasoning to comment on their first flying machine.
Sorry, you fail at progress...
Is there something in it?
"It's reminiscent of Palm's poorly received 2007 Foleo - rudely dubbed the 'Faileo'"
...by the usual idiots masquerading as "industry experts" who completely failed to understand why anyone would want a netbook until (and probably beyond) the time they started flying off the shelves.
Docking stations are established products, although they've obviously been less interesting as laptops have grown in capabilities and in size, but the problem with them has often been that of interoperability: buy a new laptop and you end up needing a special docking station for it; they've frequently used proprietary interfaces rather than the sort of stuff accessories manufacturers have adopted to plug the gap, that being Bluetooth, USB and the like.
The challenge is arguably in having a standard docking interface that provides enough bandwidth for the display data. That and choosing a product name (Atrix) which isn't a brand of moisturising cream in the Nordic countries.