Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

Summary: The Atrix Lapdock reminds me of the REDFLY from 2008

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My favorite thing about technology is how sometimes something that appears to be new and innovative is actually a rebirth of a concept that never actually caught on.

The latest case in point is the Motorola Atrix. It's actually a very powerful phone on its own, sporting Android 2.2, MOTOBLUR, a 5 MP camera, 720p video capture, and more. However, when you couple it with what Motorola is calling a revolutionary "Lapdock", it becomes a full-blown computer. Actually, it becomes more of a netbook, running Motorola's webtop app, which lets you see and interact with your phone's content. By itself the Lapdock is just dump, but when you snap in the Atrix, it comes to life with a browser, media player, and more.

As I stated previously, while Motorola is calling the Lapdock revolutionary, I had something very similar for my Windows Mobile phone back in 2008 called the REDFLY.

At the time I couldn't see the value in having a laptop that required the power of my mobile phone to work, and I feel the same way about the Motorola Atrix. While it seems cool initially, I'd rather get a bigger phone screen so that I can do everything I need to, without having to dock to a laptop.

The folks at PhoneScoop actually show off a decent amount of the interface and functionality of the Lapdock in the video below, so make sure to give that a look before you completely write off the Lapdock concept.

Now that we've rebirthed the dumb laptop, it looks like HTC has set it sights on giving the stylus a new life with its HTC Flyer tablet.

It will be interesting to see what's next to come out of hibernation and hit mainstream again in 2011.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Laptops, Telcos

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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28 comments
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  • RE: Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

    >>As I stated previously, while Motorola is calling the Lapdock revolutionary, I had something very similar for my Windows Mobile phone back in 2008 called the REDFLY. <br>I still have my Redfly somewhere in my garage. If I am not wrong Redfly can be hooked to any Windows Mobile, Blackberry, but this Lapdoc can be hooked to only Atrix 4G or any other model that comes in the same Atrix line from Motorola. And Redfly lets you dock your phone using either USB or Bluetooth, is it same with Atrix, or it has to be USB+HDMI like HTC Advantage does that with their proprietary docking station. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">
    Ram U
    • You make REDFLY sound great...

      @Rama.NET
      ...and yet it's still sitting out in your garage somewhere.
      jasonp@...
      • RE: Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

        @jasonp@... <br>I am not using it because I moved away from Windows Mobile to iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7. If I am asked to develop something for Windows Mobile by my clients, I would pull it out, or if REDFLY gets support for either of those 3 platforms, iPhone, Android or WP7, I will use it again. So whats your point?
        Ram U
      • RE: Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

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  • After a little bit of research, I gave up netbook two years ago

    Never bought one.

    Now I give up ipad/this-pad/that-pad, just a bunch of dummy players, maybe faster than netbook, but with fewer functionalities. Not for me.
    FADS_z
    • RE: Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

      @FADS_z : how can you have given up on a netbook if you never actually bought one?

      Same would apply to the iPad...

      When you go above the techno hype and actually use a tablet, you will find out that they aren't just dummy players.

      I guess you're one of the 'individuals' quoted on the famous Ken Olsen's quote:

      <i>"no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home"</i>
      cosuna
      • RE: Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

        @cosuna
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Olsen
        <q>
        from 1977: There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.
        Referred to having the computer run the house, with automated doors, voice-activated faucets et cetera. He had a computer in his home for general use and promulgated the idea
        </q>

        in any event, in 1977 what could the average person do with a computer? answer: not much.
        CaptOska
  • RE: Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

    "All things old will be brought back as new", does this sound familiar to anybody besides myself?
    Alongwayback
    • BTW...

      ...if Microsoft wanted, they could lead Nokia to one up the Atrix, with Intel's help.<br><br>They could create a Windows Phone 7/Windows 7 hybrid using a very low power Atom. It would use WP7 UI when at phone and Windows 7 UI when at netbook. It would run Office and IE9, and all the apps enterprises need. It would be a hit for mobile networkers.<br><br>What's stopping them? First Win7 is subpar on netbooks. It would get worse in low power Atoms. And... low power Atoms are 1W at the least, so battery will last 1 or 2 hrs at the most.<br><br>Is at those moments when you realize who's <b>really</b> gonna win the race, after all.
      cosuna
  • RE: Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

    The Lapdock is a clever idea but why not just buy a netbook, with wait for it, full blown Windows? You can use DropBox to share content across phone/netbook.
    bradavon
    • RE: Motorola Atrix brings back the dumb laptop

      @bradavon I am not using it because I moved away from Windows Mobile to iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7. If I am asked to develop something for Windows Mobile by my clients, I would pull it out, or if REDFLY gets support for either of those 3 platforms, iPhone, Android or WP7, I will use it again. So whats your point?<br><a href="http://www.sanfrancisco-weddingphotographers.com">San francisco wedding photographer</a><br><a href="http://www.thesanfranciscolocksmith.com">san francisco Locksmith</a>
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  • Atrix = Stupid...

    ...But stylus = awesome.

    Apple did us all a disservice by making the stylus uncool.
    x I'm tc
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    I notice that a lot of people should stay on topic to try and add value to the original blog post.
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