back to article Motorola Atrix Lapdock

If you had thought that Motorola’s Android offerings might have ended up as the also-rans in the mêlée of Googlephone handsets, then recent events in the mobile marketplace would suggest it could well be the standard bearer. The Chocolate Factory’s bid for Motorola’s Mobility division – the handset and tablet line – certainly …


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  1. Piloti

    So, what you're saying is this......

    ... spend £300 on a screen and keyboard, with a slow processor, which is in the 'phone you buy separately, no memory, because this is also in the 'phone, no fixed LAN connection, because you are supposed to use 3g or wi-fi, sluggish performance [I put "ok" into the sluggish category] and not much else.

    Forgive me for being thick, but why not just a proper computer for £300 and got more for your money ? Netbooks now are under £200. Some can even be found for £150.

    Just not sure what the point of this actually is.....

  2. tmTM

    £300 quid buys

    A half decent laptop, that doesn't require a phone to work.

    Whats the point in this then?

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Bad design


    The phone should "dock" at the "touch pad" location and then be a touch pad / programmable keys

    1. Mr Floppy

      design students

      especially since the concept was out with the Olo computer for the iPhone. That didn't go anywhere but the idea was good and the patent is probably out there if they wanted it as I think the company isn't there anymore (unless apple snapped it up).

      a design student could have thought up something better than this

  4. Cameron Colley

    It looks good, and in some ways I want one.

    However, surely it's cheaper and not much harder to use your phone as a wireless hotspot and take a netbook along with you?

  5. RayG

    Maybe it is deja vu? it sounds like it

    Oh my... it's a Palm Foleo!

    1. Francis Boyle

      except that

      the Foleo was better designed.

      I mean, phone sticking out the back - elegant and functional?

      1. RayG


        I remember being quite disappointed when the Foleo didn't make it to market (presumably I was the only one). It seems a very long time ago now.

  6. Lottie

    Damn, that's awesome!

    Sadly, I couldn't justify the price of it + phone over, say, buying a nettop.

    But as a proof of concept, it's wicked!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    £300 !!!

    Remember seeing the first items about the Atrix and it looked a powerful phone and the idea you could convert it into a sort of laptop via a docking station seemed interesting ... but I assumed that the idea was that you'd be getting netbook-like performance at a bargain price since you'd already paid for all the processing power etc in the phone .... so add-on of £50-£75 was what I was expecting for this. But £300 ... just go and get a proper netbook!

  8. James 51
    Thumb Up

    It's not a bad idea, just needs refinement.

    This is a good idea which does not have a brilliant implementation. Another year or two the price should come down and the quality of the design/build should increase. Hopefully the Atrix 2 will address the issues raised.

    1. Francis Boyle

      For some values of 'idea'

      Why not just have a phone/netbook combo that syncs wirelessly and shares a 3g connection. For extra points you could have some sort of remote view into the phone for people who really want to run phone apps on a larger screen. Of course, as pointed out upthread, that makes it pretty much a Foleo. But then the main problem with the Foleo was that it was overpriced and before its time.

      Ultimately though, the problem's software not hardware. No amount of messing about with docking arrangements will solve the problem that people now have multiple devices with their data spread across them and no straightforward and non-proprietry method of syncing it all up.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought el reg had already done this one?

    massive fail.

    It's as big and heavy as a macbook air (or equivalent) but hugely less capable so why would you ever carry this instead?

    It doesn't replace a laptop so if you're poor you buy one cheap laptop and if you're rich you buy an ultraportable.

    Now if it was a larger screen that turned the phone into a 10" tablet on the other hand....hmm. That might just be useful.

  10. Anonymous Coward 101

    As many have noted...

    ...this is expensive.

    You can get Windows 7 netbooks for less than £200, some reconditioned ones for little more than £100 from eBay. Add a USB dongle and you now have mobile internet access across the country. Or use a phone as a wifi hotspot.

    I'm sure it's well made and an interesting innovation, but what is the point?

  11. Mage Silver badge

    The inherent concept is good

    No need to sync bookmarks, documents, email contacts.

    It's just not useful till the phone has all functionality of a Netbook and just as good/fast and the phone + dock are similar price. Then why buy both.

  12. Fab De Marco

    Saw this a while back

    And I was on the cusp of getting a moto Attrix because of it.... untill I found out the price.

    Whatever happens my phone will come with me when I go out, so carrying a phone is no hardship. I can just as easily carry a netbook and phone and connect to the internet via USB tethering, or better yet wifi tethering.

    Same result. Much cheaper. The only way this would work is if it was around the £100 mark, It's a screen, keyboard, touchpad and battery. Sure the screen and battery cost a fair whack, but most of the expensive laptop parts are absent, so the cost cannot be justified.

  13. not_equal_to_null
    Thumb Up


    I own one of these, and use it all the time. The screen is somewhere between a netbook and a laptop, it's very small and convenient to lug around, does exactly the same job as a netbook, but has 9 hours of battery life. Also, it has no fan vents to cover, so I don't have to worry about it melting down when I'm using it on my lap.

    Oh, and it works great with our Citrix server at work.

    OK, so it's a bit pricey, but hey, it's got the geek factor :)

  14. Brian 6

    Missing the point guys..

    Yes this thing is too expensive, should be between 100 and 200 quid. But the point u are missing is that when your contract runs out and u upgrade to the next Atrix phone, (which will have a faster CPU more memory etc) then it will be like having a "new" netbook as well. Where as if u spend £150 on a netbook today, its cpu will never be upgraded and it will become more and more obsolete.

    Anyway I like how the unit charges the phone even when its not connected to the mains. And an 8 hour battery life for the combo if a lot better than most laptops.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Missing the point guys..

      Key assumptions:

      1) There will be a successor phone.

      2) It will be one you want.

      3) It will work with the same unit rather than requiring the Atrix PhoneDock 2.

      Any less than 3/3 and 300 quid disappears off round the U-bend. Given the usual love that hardware types have for their users prolonging the life of kit rather than buying new, I reckon that buying 300 quid's worth of lottery tickets is less likely to lose you money.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great idea, bad price

    It's something I and probably others have thought about before.

    Stick the CPU, memory and storage in a portable 'module' that is itself a stand-alone device but can be docked into a main unit to extend its capabilities, i.e. to add a full keyboard, display, additional ports, secondary CPU/GPU (not presenet here obviously), etc. etc.

    Trouble is, as others have said, the price of this is far too expensive. How can an LCD panel, battery, keyboard and supporting charge/comms electronics cost more than a stand alone netbook that has all that plus CPU/RAM/storage etc. etc. ???

    Add to it the cost of the phone itself and you're up into silly money.

  16. Voland's henchman

    The failings of the concept and price aside

    Anyone mind showing this to Oracle and ask them exactly which field of use restrictions of Java should apply here? 'cause it is probably me being thick, but I don't geddit...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The cost of the dock

    When the Razr first came out, it was priced at a point where it was a status symbol of sorts (the iPhone before the iPhone, so to speak). Eventually the prices fell, everyone had one, and it wasn't quite as special.

    This seems to have all the hallmarks of that kind of strategy. This isn't Motorola's entry phone, so they figure people willing to plunk down the cost of the phone have the means to pick up the Lapdock as well. Eventually, the price for both will fall, but in the short term Motrola gets a generous profit per Lapdock.

    Hopefully they don't make the same errors they did with Razr - not having a follow-up phone to take its place. Eventually, Razr when from trendy/status symbol to "I just picked up 3 of these for the kids."

    It'll be interesting to see how much of Motorola Google changes...

  18. Major Trouble

    Should be tablet based

    I have an Atrix and think it's great (apart from the wifi problems I am experiencing at the mo). I carry a laptop for work and sometimes tether the two when I can't get free wifi. However I wouldn't buy the lapdock at the price they're asking to use instead.

    What I would prefer is a tablet based dock. Basically a large screen and extra battery which I can slide the phone in and enjoy mobile media, web browsing and charge the phone back up. Should be pretty cheap as well. Perfect for kill time on long journeys. Large screen sat nav anyone. I've tried doing serious work on a netbook and I can't so I see no difference with this lapdock.

    Even the media dock seems overpriced to me at £50. You get the mini HDMI cable with the phone and if you have USB ports on your TV plug in the lead to power and charge the Atrix. You have no remote control but hey you saved over £50 for some exercise.

  19. 4HiMarks

    I have the phone

    but took a pass on the lapdock. Not only is the hardware itself way overpriced, but AT&T also requires the top (4GB/month) data plan, as well as a $20/month 'tethering" charge. For tethering what? The thing is a brick without the phone installed.

    I might *just barely* consider the multimedia dock worthwhile. It comes with a wireless keyboard, mouse and IR remote, and has a mini-HDMI, PSU connection, and 3 USB ports at a fraction of the lapdock price (supply your own screen, though). Tethering is supposed to be optional, as long as you use an existing wifi network. Once you attenpt to connect via 4G, it's $20 a month again.

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