Motorola ATRIX 4G Laptop Dock Review
For starters, the very first thing to catch our attention with the Laptop Dock is its razor thin profile – which closely resembles the look of a MacBook Air. Furthermore, its streamlined looks are further accented by its machined metallic exterior that resonates with a premium feel, but it’s a stickler for attracting smudges and fingerprints. In fact, you really need to wipe it down with a piece of cloth and apply some pressure to get some of the nasty dirt off its exterior. And of course, it’s a lot lighter than most other laptops in its category at 2.4lbs. All in all, there’s no denying that it’ll garner plenty of glances as you whip it out and use it thanks to its sleek looking industrial design.
Opening the laptop, we’re first greeted to its 11.6” WXGA (1366 x 768) display that looks exquisitely sharp when it’s set to full brightness – which we might add is sufficient in combating the sun in outdoor settings. However, it sticks to employing a glossy screen as opposed to the matte ones generally found with most laptops. With that, there are numerous occasions when we found ourselves combating reflections, but it doesn’t prove to be too detrimental. As for the chicklet style keyboard, it’s a little bit smaller than we’d like, but at least we’re greeted with a reasonable tactile response when pressing down on its keys. Speed typing is not a problem for this one, but we find its lack of a delete key more of a hindrance since you’ll have to rely on using the backspace key for everything. Still, we quickly found ourselves adjusting to the new scheme of typing.
Below the keyboard, we find an oversized trackpad with its left and right mouse keys. Obviously, it’s supremely roomy for our fingers, but even after adjusting the mouse settings with the interface, we still find it lagging behind in trying to keep up with our finger swipes. In the back, we find 2 USB ports that’ll allow you to connect peripherals, like USB keyboards or flash drives, which soundly show its acceptance of being a fully functional laptop. Additionally, it’s also the same location that we find the dock connection for the Motorola ATRIX 4G. Simply, you expose it and slide the handset into position as it hooks onto the microUSB and microHDMI ports on the handset. After prolonged usage, we did find the rear portion of the Laptop Dock becoming hot to the touch since the battery is constantly charging the handset, but it’s not to the point burning.
The great part about the Laptop Dock is that it transform the Motorola ATRIX 4G into a totally different device thanks to Motorola’s webtop interface. Once it’s set into this mode, we’re greeted with the actual handset, which is running Android and all, operating on the desktop of the Laptop Dock. Specifically, it feels like an emulator more than anything because you have complete control of the handset through the use of the interface. At the bottom portion of the webtop interface, we find a row of icons that get into some of the common functions of the phone – like sending a text message, viewing your contacts, and opening up the dialer. Furthermore, there is an icon that opens up the desktop version of Mozilla Firefox browser. Yeah, it’s strange that they decided to bring Firefox on instead of Google Chrome, but we’re nonetheless glad to see a real desktop web browser running on the Laptop Dock. And lastly, there are some other icons, like the Facebook one, that basically opens up the site via the Firefox browser.
Overall, we’re happy with the intuitive experience we had using the Laptop Dock – especially when it enables you to fully interact with the handset while browsing the web with the Firefox browser. There’s also a File Manager program that enables you to quickly organize files between the handset and any storage media connected to its USB ports. Initially, it runs at a moderate rate with very few instances of slowdown, but once we had multiple things running, we were soon greeted with a message indicating to us to close some windows to preserve memory. Nevertheless, it’s nice being able to run Pandora on the handset, while typing up something using Google Documents via the Firefox browser. And aside from the webtop experience, you can also select the option to get the Laptop Dock into the Entertainment Center. In this mode, it enables you to quickly view stored multimedia content (music, videos, and photos) on the handset. The interface is straightforward without any complications, but it’s still nice to be able to quickly share things with other people.
In the end, we find the Laptop Dock one alluring accessory for the Motorola ATRIX 4G thanks to its innovative experience. For the most part, it can in some ways replace your laptop, but its basic set of functionality still hinders it from being completely independent. Sure you have a real desktop browser in there, but when it comes to the productivity suite, you’ll have to rely on Cloud based offerings like Google Docs – which naturally requires a data connection. Battery life is really good since we managed to get out 10 hours of continuous normal usage with it, so it directly competes with most netbooks on the market.
The Laptop Dock's biggest drawback seems to be its very steep price. We really can't swallow $300, if purchased bundled, let alone the $500 price tag if bought separately, for a larger screen with a keyboard and two USBs. However, we’d like to see the Laptop Dock being increasingly implemented with other future devices and not end solely with the ATRIX 4G.
Motorola ATRIX 4G Laptop Dock Video Review:
- Original concept
- Good screen size and resolution
- Desktop-grade Firefox browser
- Limited functionality
- Becomes laggy when more apps are opened
- Very expensive
1. Afya Asif (unregistered) posted on 19 Mar 2011, 04:27 0
That's not a solution. The iPad is not a Cell Phone. I think this docking option has some potential. Maybe not always in a laptop form but even something where you could take your iOS, Android, or some other mobile OS and dock it into a larger screen tablet could be an interesting idea.
Source more information:http://www.motorolaatrixforum.
For example if I could take my iPhone and dock it into a larger screen and make it a tablet that could be kind of cool. After all the iPad is essentially the same as it's iPhone and iPod touch siblings aside from the screen right? Same goes for Android phones and Android tablets. It could adapt to change for the larger screen and save people from having multiple devices possibly.
2. Darel (unregistered) posted on 02 May 2011, 13:25 0
Imagine a smartphone in the near future with quad core processors and 2-4 gb of ram, all you need to do is to connect your smartphone to such a dock like this and you have a quite powerful laptop for every day use and work. One hardware for everything, thats very comfortable! would be..
3. Blackbeans (unregistered) posted on 07 May 2011, 18:51 0
Has anyone spent few hours for using this baby? Mine got warm to a bit hot, even hotter than my Dell Precision after 1hour playing with it! :(
4. hyi560 (unregistered) posted on 23 May 2011, 18:46 0
I have been using Atrix laptop dock, and it has been great. Yes, its pricey that will set you back $300 at bundle price, but now they offer $100 main-in-rebate, so final cost for the laptop dock is $200. Also, this is definitely not a netbook or a laptop replacement. Since i travel alot, I don't need to carry my personal laptop since I can do all my browsing and basic office work with google doc(when wifi enabled) and on the phone with full screen via open office app installed on the phone (off-line). Also, I can stream videos from Hulu and download most of my media and watch it from my webtop (atrix laptop).
This Atrix laptop is really based on types of application you have installed on your phone and only needing for basic desktop functions. If so, laptop dock is worth it (least for me). Downside is, you need wifi to make full use of the laptop. Can be luggish at time with multitasking. Recommend to turn off live wall paper on the phone.
I would give this 4/5 stars
5. amitbali (unregistered) posted on 07 Jun 2011, 07:34 0
My name is amit i from India I just want to know wht is difference between laptop and notbook or laptop doc. I'll really appreciate if i'll get the information. As i dont know about the difference so i am not buying it, coz i want full information first. And it lounched in india as well. The looks are dashing and killer and if its already lounched in india wht is price in indian.
6. Scott_T (unregistered) posted on 10 Jun 2011, 18:55 0
They should have made this into a touch screen tablet (like Xoom, Galaxy, Ipad) with a docking station on the back to insert the phone. No need for keyboard to browse the web, multimedia , and basic document viewing. The idea is to be able to use this for cloud computing. That would make more sense to me (the lighter, the better especially for business travel people)
7. Mistyblu (unregistered) posted on 08 Jul 2011, 17:45 0
I just won the laptop dock on Ebay (brand new) for $120 so the cost wasn't an issue. I like the fact that I can lay in bed and use it as opposed to doing everything on the screen of the phone.
8. NEMECOM (unregistered) posted on 30 Jul 2011, 02:39 0
quad core phones will be out soon....
9. CAPTAIN RON (unregistered) posted on 09 Aug 2011, 06:43 0
there will come a day..in the future ( no doubt ) ...when your cell phone can be used as a computer ( instantly accessing ...sky cams ....helll they already have cameras ....and BEAM ME UP SCOTTY IS NEXT