CES: Motorola's vision of a handheld PC future

If Motorola executes on its vision, your smartphone and laptop could be one and the same.

LAS VEGAS--Think the PC market will be just more of the same old same old in the coming years? Maybe not. Motorola demonstrated an intriguing vision of one viable PC future at CES today.

Motorola puts the smartphone in a dock and turns it into a laptop--possible because of PC-like dual-core processor technology inside the phone.
Motorola puts the smartphone in a dock and turns it into a laptop--possible because of PC-like dual-core processor technology inside the phone. Motorola

On the surface, it's pretty straightforward. Convert your smartphone into a full-blown laptop (see graphic).

This PC-like functionality is made possible to a large extent by the powerful dual-core processors going into upcoming Motorola phones, such as the ATRIX 4G, as Sanjay Jha, chief executive of Motorola, mentioned today during the Motorola event at CES.

And Motorola can thank its chip supplier, Nvidia, which is on a quest to make the ARM chip architecture into a high-performance computing platform, on top of ARM's traditional power frugality.

The Motorola Laptop Dock itself is a thin design with an 11.6-inch screen, full keyboard, stereo speakers, eight hours of battery life, and weighs in at only 2.4 pounds.

Of course, the software half of the equation is critical too. ATRIX comes loaded with the Motorola webtop application that runs a full Mozilla Firefox 3.6 browser and supports Adobe Flash Player.

There are other goodies too. While using the webtop application, users with an existing Citrix account can tap into the integrated Citrix Receiver application that provides access to virtual desktops, including Windows, and office applications. This, of course, is in addition to Android Market applications.

"Consumers are increasingly using smartphones as their primary digital screens," Bill Ogle, chief marketing officer, Motorola Mobility, said in a statement. "Motorola ATRIX 4G ushers in a new era of mobile computing."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

CNET's giving away a 3D printer

Enter for a chance to win* the MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer and all the supplies you need to get started.