This is the big mother. This is the reason the ATRIX 4G has been seeing so much press, so much pazazz from amongst the lovers of new items and the lookers for next steps in the evolution of phones and computers. This is a notebook-style dock for the phone, one that makes the phone essentially turn into what we can most closely relate to a MacBook Air. Without the phone, the dock does nothing, with the phone, it’s the closest to a full-functioning desktop computer we’ve ever experienced from Android.
This laptop is an 11.6-inch ultraportable with full keyboard, trackpad, and integrated battery. Once you’ve got the phone plugged in, you’re working with Motorola’s Webtop system which is a slightly different experience than what you’re working with on the phone alone. Of course when you’re working on a desktop like this, you’re able to do what we’re tempted to call multitasking, but let’s give it some time before we jump to any fabulous or harsh headed conclusions.
The actual unit is solid, made of both solid hard plastic and metal, all of it black, with lovingly constructed keys and a big fat trackpad. We’re not talking about a perfect experience of course, or rather, not an experience that we can really call a replacement for an ultraportable as the clicker below the trackpad is stiff, the trackpad does not have multitouch support, and the entire unit isn’t quite as pretty as the above average industrial design of a MacBook. Not that we’re totally addicted to MacOSX, however, this situation providing a nice change – a Motorola Webtop system with a custom Linux build with Firefox, a few more apps built in (that we’re sure will be switched up, chopped, and screwed in great ways by smooth developers soon.)
The greatest bit of this laptop system is the Entertainment Center, the same thing you’re going to be able to do with the HD Dock, this lovely situation hosting up all the media you’ve got nicely. On the other hand, the browser isn’t quite maximized in the way we’d like, instead just magnified, revealing pixels instead of clear smooth non-lines. Slight sluggishness in places whilst browsing and searching through HD content, but the ability to play videos on YouTube and Hulu and so forth is definitely a welcome feature.
The laptop dock is able to run 6 hours of video playback or 9 hours of web browsing (of course this is relative,) meanwhile recharging your handset unit as you do so. That’s awesome. Is it worth the cash, the several hundred dollars for a glorified bigger screen and power station? At the moment, we say not quite. But it is on the border, and there’s sure to be upgrades before you know it, so don’t count it out quite yet.
For the rest of the review of the ATRIX 4G, head back over to the post Motorola ATRIX 4G Review.