As neat an idea as they seemed, Motorola’s various Lapdocks haven’t amounted to much. The principle’s is sound, but if you’re going to carry around an accessory that’s as big as a laptop, as heavy as a laptop, and almost as expensive as a laptop, why not just carry a real freaking laptop? Startup company QP Optoelectronics intends to change the equation, by giving you an 11″ screen, full keyboard AND up to a 60″ projector, all in a package about the size of a few magazines.They’re calling their flagship product the LightPad.
The LightPad consists of a hinge-mounted pico project attached to a frame containing a small screen and keyboard. When the projector is pointed in the forward position, it creates a rear projection image on the screen, creating a traditional laptop form factor, even if it is a little long – this wouldn’t fly on an airline tray table. Flip the projector around and you can throw your phone’s screen up to a 60″ space. The whole package connects to your Android phone via an HDMI port, with MHL support as well (you can see a Nexus One in the video).
The idea is certainly novel, though I can see at least a few flaws. Neither screen would work particularly well in an outdoor environment, or even somewhere with bright fluorescent lights. The extra length is a problem too. The latest revision of the gadget will allow for pixel-perfect reproductions of phone screens up to 1280 x 720 resolutions. The gadget doesn’t have a distributor yet, though the creators will be on hand at CES in January. We’ll be sure to stop by their booth for a hands-on look at the device.