Motorola has produced a few enhancements for Android’s user interface, not least with its Motoblur service, with its resizable widgets pushing your social networking updates to you. The 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor is backed by a full 1GB of RAM, and promises to be extremely fast. Sure enough, it nips between apps at speed with no real sign of lag, even with a load of apps running at once.
The Atrix delivers all the CPU horsepower when docked to the keyboard
The Atrix is available with a heap of optional accessories from Motorola, all intended to help make it the centre of your connected world. The Lapdock, for instance, is a slim fold-out keyboard and screen that looks like a netbook, except that it has a dock for your Atrix, which then provides the computing power.
It’s a little slower in operation than using the standalone phone, but it’s fast enough not to be boring. The keyboard is fine, though the trackpad can be a bit spongy. Usefully, it can be powered from the mains and also comes with its own pair of AA batteries, promising up to seven hours of use without draining the Atrix.
Less usefully, however, while Android is running on the handset, the Lapdock uses the Linux-based ‘Webtop’ operating system, which can run the Firefox browser and view your stored videos, but not a lot else, so it doesn’t offer the versatility of any of the recent Android tablets. You can view your phone’s screen in a window on the Lapdock’s screen but it’s a bit confusing flicking between the two – it would have been better as either full Linux or full Android.
The keyboard runs off its own AA batteries
There’s also a wireless mouse available, as well as a standard charging dock with microUSB and 3.5mm headphone ports, which allows you to set up a range of display widgets while you’re charging – time, weather or your email updates. And there’s more. The Atrix can utilise a multimedia dock that offers three USB ports and a pass-through mini HDMI port. Once that’s connected to your TV you can control video playback from a Bluetooth remote control.
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Screwed it up...
1) Its Motorola
2) Locked down boot loader
3) Cripled Ubuntu
4) Proprietary dock
Try again, and do it right:
1) Full Ubuntu, on HDMI out, without special connector
2) Bluetooth keyboard and mouse
3) Unlocked bootloader, modder friendly
5) No proprietary connector, dock
Galaxy S2? You mean this one?
Can't work who Moto think the market for this is.....
The lapdock is £300 so it's not a casual purchase or one for anyone that's price sensitive. Most owners change their phone inside 2 years and I see no commitment from Motorola that this is an Apple dock type 'standard' yet that will work with all their phones (or even just an ongoing product line) so there's a high risk you have a £300 paperweight in 2 year's time*.
If you're NOT price sensitive then you'd just buy a Macbook Air - a fully functional computer that's actually *lighter* than the MotoDock and has a better battery life as well. Either way you need a tethering connection and your documents are presumably in the cloud anyway.
If you *are* price sensitive you'd buy either a netbook (£300 buys a decent enough Dell or Toshiba) or spend a bit £100 more and get an iPad. No bigger or heavier than the MotoDock
and give a decent battery life. Neither will be a worthless paperweight when you change your phone.
Moto can give the thing away, which might make you choose this phone over another, but surely that just cuts into their already slim margins in the Android phone market. Even if they did give me one for free how often am I actually going to choose to carry it over a proper laptop or fondleslab?
It's really no different to the old folding Targus keyboards for the Palm. Nice idea but rarely actually useful and redundant and worthless when the next gen Palm launched.