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Christmas Gift Guide

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.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

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.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

As we expect to see with most of the top-line smartphones this year, the Atrix includes HDMI output alongside its microUSB port.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

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.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

The Atrix sits in the swivelling connector at the rear of the Laptop Dock and connects with both the micro USB port and the HDMI connection simultaneously.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

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.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

That's right, you can play any games you've downloaded through the Android Market, including Angry Birds.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

Best of all, the Android window is scalable, so you can use your favourite apps over a portion of the screen, or you can blow them out to fullscreen.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

Webtop can launch 18 apps simultaneously, and the familiar Alt-Tab keystroke combination is used to cycle between the different active tasks.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

There's also quite an attractive music player installed, playing music stored on the phones 16GB of internal memory.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi

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.

Caption by / Photo by CBSi
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