Motorola: more Lapdock-style devices coming in 2012

December 30, 2011
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While we and just about everybody else was floored at the potential of Motorola's Lapdock when it was introduced with the Atrix 4G, the reality of its utility has proven somewhat underwhelming. Even when the Atrix 2 brought us a semi-universal model in the Lapdock 100, the laptop/smartphone combination still felt a little cuimbersome, and hard to justify given the extra cost it requires. It appears that Motorola isn't discouraged, however: in an interview with AllThingsD, executive Christy Wyatt said the company plans more multi-screen intiatives in the coming year.

"I think it was a very bold move for us to introduce this concept of modality...  I do think you are going to see us continue to go down that path. That can take many forms," said Wyatt. While this isn't a confirmation of new Lapdock models, it does show that Motorola's thinking about high-function accessories in a big way. Evidence of their progress can be seen in the MOTOACTV, a fitness watch that runs a full version of Android and communicates with late-model Motorola Android phones for some impressive data collection. The MOTOACTV can even be modified to run a semi-complete version of Android, albeit on a tiny scale.

The Lapdock models haven't sold particularly well, if some rapid price cuts are any indication. The Lapdock 100 brought a dramatic reduction in starting price, but it came with a considerable hit to aesthetic appeal - to be blunt, it looks more like a plastic brick than a laptop. It wouldn't surprise me to see Motorola giving the laptop dock concept another go at CES, but I'd be much more interested in an expanded digital smart watch with a modifiable widget engine, a la the WIMM One. We'll see in a couple of weeks.


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