Razer’s Project Linda concept, which has a smartphone act as the brain and trackpad of a laptop, is one of the best gadgets I’ve seen at CES.
Razer has a history of bold experimentation. During last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Razer showed off an outlandish three-screened gaming laptopconcept that was a bit too crazy to end up in consumer’s hands.
This year, however, Razer’s concept product is somewhat tame, but in a good way. In fact, the San Francisco-based gaming company may very well have figured out how we’ll be using computers in the not-too-distant future.
Razer’s “Project Linda” is essentially a docking station for its Razer Phone smartphone that turns the Phone into a laptop with a 13.3-inch display and keyboard that can also re-charge the phone. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
Check it out:
The concept is that smartphones will become the only device you’ll ever need for leisure and productivity.
You can do the basic stuff with your smartphone like perusing the web, social media, and using basic apps. And when you need to be more productive, like writing long emails or documents and switching between multiple browser tabs, you can place the Razer Phone into Project Linda to benefit from a larger screen and keyboard.
Project Linda is essentially a docking station for the Razer Phone that takes the form and functionality of a laptop, which is genius.
The Phone fits in an enclosure that’s found where you’d usually find a laptop’s trackpad. Once in the enclosure, a simple button press extends a USB-C connector from the laptop into the Razer Phone’s USB-C port, and just like that, you have a laptop.
I’ve seen a dock that lets you connect a smartphone to a monitor and lets you run apps like you would on a computer, but Project Linda is the first where the dock has everything you need in one portable package, like a laptop.
The Phone acts as a trackpad.
The Phone’s screen acts as the laptop’s trackpad, and it worked well when I tried it at CES 2018. It’s incredibly responsive to your finger movements and feels just like your laptop’s trackpad, albeit much smoother due to the Phone’s glass display.
But that’s just the most basic use for the enclosed Phone.
It can also act as a second screen that complements what you see on the laptop’s screen.
The Phone in Project Linda also provides the speakers.
The Phone also provides the speakers for the laptop, which is another beautiful integration of Phone and Linda. In case you didn’t know, the speakers in Razer’s Phone are the loudest — and among the best — smartphone speakers on the market, so they’re well suited for laptop usage.
It comes with some extras that will help make it work and feel like a laptop.
Inside Project Linda is a full laptop battery that can charge the Razer Phone and can be charged via the USB-C port on the side of the laptop. There’s also a headphone jack and a regular USB port.
So that’s the hardware, but what does it run?
Since the Razer Phone is the brains, you’ll see and use the Android operating system, and you’ll run Android apps.
Think of Android on Project Linda this way: it’s everything you do on an Android phone, just bigger and easier to use because of the larger laptop display, keyboard, and trackpad. In a way, it’s somewhat similar to a Chromebook, which is a computer that can do most of the basic things you want to do, but can’t do more complex tasks because it doesn’t run full desktop apps.
Will it be worth it?
Would we buy one? It’ll all boil down to price. And even before considering the price, Razer has to decide whether to take Project Linda out of concept territory and into full commercialization.
For those who exclusively use web browsers, a device like Project Linda that runs on a smartphone has the potential to be a viable option. But it’s too early to make that call yet. I’d have to use Project Linda for a little while to see how it holds up with day-to-day usage.
At the end of the day, Razer has shown that a phone can indeed turn into an all-purpose machine by way of a special dock that looks, feels, and works like a laptop. All it really needs now is a better optimized operating system and software that lets users do more
this post is originally from pulse.ng