Slip it into the laptop dock for a full keyboard and touchpad
Motorola has unveiled a novel take on the smartphone at CES 2011 in Las Vegas, with a handset that docks into a laptop chassis.
The Atrix is a high-end Android phone with a QHD (854×480) screen, 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, Android 2.2 and 1GB of RAM. So far, so normal, but it’s the accessories that make this model stand out.
The most exciting is the laptop dock. This ultra-thin chassis opens up to reveal a full keyboard and screen, but the back contains a dock that you can slip the Atrix into. In this mode the phone gives the option to switch to WebTop mode.
This replaces the Android HomeScreen with a more desktop-friendly user interface, complete with individual windows for application. In this mode the Atrix has access to a range of apps that aren’t available in phone mode, including a complete version of Firefox complete with tabs.
The laptop has a screen resolution of 1,280×720. We tried out the Chiclet-style keyboard and, from our brief tappings, it seemed pretty comfortable. The phone locks quite securely into place, but it looks as though you’ll need to move the set carefully and undock the phone for any distance to ensure you don’t drop it. In laptop mode control of the phone is via the large touchpad – the laptop’s screen is not a touchscreen model.
As well as the laptop dock there’s a media dock that connects to a television via HDMI. The resolution can be 1,280×720 or 1,280×1,024. For playing videos and music there’s the option of Entertainment Center, which can be navigated using the small remote. The WebTop mode is also available, and the phone can act as a touchpad. For the best experience in this mode, though, you can connect a standard USB keyboard and mouse.