Motorola Atrix $449 'Lapdock' ..A No Brainer?
0Overall Score

Last night Moto introduced Atrix, the “world’s most powerful smartphone” but also brought some other friends along.


Click to enlarge

But is there a danger the new superphone could be too powerful? Well possibly when you connect it to the newly unveiled lapdock.

At its Sydney debut yesterday, it showcased Atrix’s computer buddy, the Lapdock (pictured), a “no brains” laptop docking device, allowing users view movies, apps and listen to music on a larger 11.6 inch screen.

In fact, Moto is so serious about its high end handset, they reckon users can throw their laptop out and let the Atrix take centre stage for all computing tasks at home or on the go, thanks to its new mobile docking concept.

The idea behind the lapdock is users who want to store all apps, music and memory solely on one small device can simply  transfer on to a larger PC screen, which comes with full keyboard, track pad and speakers.

However, it appears there may be some holes in this technology, one in particular which struck attendees at the demo last night.

Number one, if users fork out $450 for the lapdock, what happens in a years’ time when they want to upgrade. Will its makers release newer smartphones which are lapdock compatible?

When quizzed about this, one Motorola exec I spoke with said he wasn’t sure about this and admitted it was a valid point.

 

Also, the price. Why would you want to spend $449 on a ‘no brains’ laptop on top of the price of the Atrix ($840 outright or bought on a Telstra package) when you could land a decent spec notebook or maybe even a tablet for that price?

And thirdly, it seems the lapdock might be biting off more than it can chew in terms of data.

Connecting an Atrix to the device means it will consume data at PC levels, although data allowances from most smartphones often have a 1/1.5GB ceiling and anything beyond that will mean an additional cost.

Moto’s Anthony Petts admitted he had exceeded his 1GB monthly data allowance when using the lapdock, despite never previously hitting the ceiling with previous devices.

Telstra’s Freedom package gives data allowances starting from just 1.5GB on $29 although this does extend to 12GB on the $79 cap plan.

Although it is a seriously nifty concept, incredibly light at 1.1kg and slips in easily at the back, eyebrows were definitely raised about its implications.

Atrix’s other “companion” docking stations include HD multimedia dock, retailing at $129, which has three USB ports and a HDMI out letting it connect to other devices, and to this end, has developed a new entertainment centre, which amasses all content into one location.

 

It also unveiled a stream of other accessories including a standard dock which also acts as a charger for the device as well as a bluetoooth keyboard ($79) and car charger ($69).

For the full lowdown on the Atrix read ‘Worlds Most Powerful’ Motorola Atrix $840: Can You Handle It? here