To say we were surprised by the announcement of Motorola's new Laptop Dock and the power of its Atrix smartphone would be somewhat of an understatement. While the tech media at CES 2011 queued up for a chance to see the new Xoom tablet, it was the Atrix and accessories that stole the show.
The Atrix (a name we've been assured is not just Matrix minus the M) is, on paper, the most powerful phone we've seen to date, thanks to its 1GB DDR2 RAM in combination with the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor.
On the back of the phone, alongside the 5-megapixel camera, the Atrix sports a fingerprint scanner. When unlocking the phone, the user presses the button under the scanner to power-on the display, then swipes either index finger along the scanner to unlock the phone.
This is the Motorola Laptop Dock, a 11-inch shell comprised of a screen, a keyboard, a multitouch touchpad, a battery and 2 USB ports. Until you connect the phone, there is no computer hardware in the Dock at all.
Webtop is an application housed on the phone which launches when an HDMI connection is detected. This means you can use Webtop without either of the docking accessories by simply connecting the phone directly to a monitor or TV and using the phone to control the user experience.
In this picture you can see how Webtop delivers the same status messages that you would expect to see on an Android phone along the top of the screen. On the left is a view of the phone with access to all apps, and on the right is the built-in Firefox browser.
Everything in Webtop is powered by the phone, so the data connection uses the phone's 3G or Wi-Fi, and all the processing is performed by the Tegra 2 processor.
For those who feel 16GB will barely cover their media storage needs, the USB ports on the rear of the Laptop Dock make it possible to plug in a 1TB external hard disk and allows you to share and stream files from it.