Smartphone-powered Laptops to Become Reality

Written by John Ponio    Monday, 11 June 2012 16:02


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In the past, we've seen the idea of a smartphone-powered laptop. If you don't quite understand what I'm talking about, it's basically a keyboard and a screen in a laptop's body, with all the processing done in the smartphone. The phone hooks up to the "laptop" so you can use a keyboard, mouse, and a larger display on your phone. With how powerful phones are getting these days (what with quad-core CPUs and everything), some people don't need full-fledged computers. The only implementation of this idea so far was done with the Motorola Atrix 2, but that flopped for quite a few reasons. Mainly it didn't get popular because they didn't implement it well. The dock (laptop-looking part) was not well made or designed, and because the idea was limited to only a select couple of (badly-reviewed) phones, no one bought it. Clamcase, the company that makes iPad keyboard docks, is designing a laptop-like dock for a broad range of Android and iOS smartphones. The company is trying to make it work with as many Android smartphones as possible.

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Using a single MHL cable, your smartphone will be able to display information on the "Clambook"'s display while simultaneously receive input from the multi-touch trackpad and keyboard, as well as receive power from the built-in battery of the Clambook. Think of the Eee Pad Transformer: it charges the tablet (or in the Clambook's case, smartphone) while it's plugged in to the dock. This can be used to do anything from web-browsing and e-mails to watching movies, playing games, and anything else you can do on your smartphone. 

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This idea is really intriguing to me. With smartphones having the power that they do these days, they're easily more powerful than most netbooks. One of the problems with netbooks was that they were too small and under-powered to be a laptop, but you still had to maintain them the same you would as regular laptop. If a smartphone were able to power a netbook, that would be perfect. It's lightweight, portable, powerful, and easily-maintained by syncing "to the cloud" or to your PC. Sadly there is no word on pricing or a release date, but there is a "Notify Me" option on the product page. I'm very excited about this project, and it might be enough to get me to switch back to Android from Windows Phone 7. 

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