At, Motorola unveiled its concept for the future of smartphones: a handheld that is the centre of your digital life. When you get up in the morning, you pull your phone out of your bedside dock where it serves as an alarm clock. When you get to the office, you plug your phone into a dock and it becomes your computer; then, at the end of the day, your phone slips into something more comfortable: an HD multimedia dock, with your phone becoming the centre of your leisure time, as well. This concept had us gushing after the press conference, imagining this theory in practice.
The Motorola Atrix docked in the Laptop Dock.
Nearly six months on, and the future is in our hands. Motorola's LapDock accessory for the Atrix smartphone would be a very sexy-looking laptop — if it were a laptop. Instead, it is the shell of a computer waiting to be connected to the processing power and internet connectivity of thesmartphone. It's a screen and a keyboard powered by a 3250mAh battery, with ports for connecting two USB devices and, of course, the Atrix. The smartphone attaches with both micro-USB and mini-HDMI connections simultaneously, preparing it for data transfers, media playback and battery charging all at once.
The Webtop homescreen with the phone's homescreen open in a window on the left.
Motorola takes the guesswork out of the setup; the LapDock is simply plug 'n' play. A few moments after your phone is connected, you'll see an application on the LapDock screen that Motorola calls Webtop. By default, this app displays the homescreen of your Atrix in a window, a taskbar along the bottom with the Webtop applications pinned to it and system notifications across.
The screen is a decent 11.6-inches diagonally, though its 1366x768-pixel resolution is a tad low for its size. The full-size keyboard is a pleasure to use, with a chiclet key layout on par with the best laptop keyboards of this size. It also has a touch-sensitive trackpad, which is large and easy to use, and you can switch it on and off by double-tapping on its top-left corner, though, disappointingly, this pad isn't multi-touch as many notebook pads are these days. The LapDock has tinny-sounding external speakers, but if you want to connect your own sound system you can do this through the 3.5mm headphone socket on the phone itself.
The chiclet-style keyboard is well laid out.