Part of the reason I was drawn to the Chromebook Pixel is that it's essentially a thin client for accessing the same content I interact with using my phones and tablets. Having to move and maintain files between separate machines is a chore I no longer wish to deal with, so I'm happy to see that this issue may soon be a thing of the past. Today at IFA, Acer demoed its Extend prototype, a laptop-dock that could enable you to use a smartphone as a your primary computer.


If this concept sounds familiar, that's because it is. A couple years ago, Motorola introduced the Motorola Atrix 4g and a proprietary dock called the lapdock - a laptop without a brain that only worked when the Atrix was docked in its back. The ASUS PadFone goes even further by being a phone that docks into a tablet that docks into a keyboard, somewhat forming the one device to rule them all.

Acer demoed the Extend connected to a modified version of the Liquid E2 smartphone via an MHL cable. The empty laptop shell gives users a full-size keyboard, a larger screen, a touchpad, and a 6,000mAh battery to work with. The device is usable for gaming, and players can still pick up and use the phone for titles that require use of the gyroscrope. The Extend also taps into the phone's camera, similar to the functionality found in AirDroid.

The Acer Extend is a concept device, but the company could potentially launch a finalized version sometime next year.

Via: Engadget

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Andrew

    I still have my Atrix 4G with the lapdock, and do not know what to de with them ))

    • Bob G

      Got my lapdock for $50 back in the day and still have no idea what to use it for now. So sad since it has great build quality. Used it a bunch when my Atrix was my daily though.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.danna.733 Jonathan Danna

        Shove a raspberry Pi computer on the back in a small case and install Raspbian linux. People have made them into fun little project laptops.

      • Andrew

        I used it few times too, when Atrix was my daily driver. It was useful on the road, because it could recharge phone. Patched webtop with OpenOffice was helpful too.

        I have Raspberry Pi, and lapdock can be used as terminal for it. But it requires pair of connectors, that I'm too lazy to get. )

  • Allwayswrite

    This solves a problem that nobody has

  • TY

    I don't think it needs a touchpad... the touch screen on the phone can be used as one.

    • jonathan3579

      But you see the phone's screen isn't on, right?

      • TY

        I heard that Ubuntu for Android already allows the use of the touch screen as a touch pad when it's connected. The screen's backlight can be off while maintaining touch sensitivity, in fact.

        • jonathan3579

          Well you just opened up my world. Lol. I never heard of that.

  • Troy Myers

    It's too bad we couldn't get Canonical and Acer together, seems a perfect marriage if Acer is wanting to go down this path. I still want the Edge or something like it to come to fruition

  • Christopher Robert

    I have my Note2 running on my old Atrix Lapdock. It works great. It amazing how much more useful it is when you have a good processor and enough RAM. The newer phone with 2.3 GHz quad cores and 3 G Ram will be great as a computer replacement.

    • Jaime

      How you do that wizardry? Link please!

  • Jose Torres

    It's a pretty good idea, although I'm hoping that they'll ditch the MHL cable and make it bluetooth accessible for any phone, although I have the feeling that this won't be the case for obvious reasons. As I have been using a Moto Atrix + Lapdock for over two years now, I have been able to use it much more than I thought I ever would while in college, work and at home. I especially like how I can place phone calls through it although because of this I do wish it had a webcam.

  • bzwingzero

    Wow, the Palm Folio all over again.

  • Matthew Fry

    *use of the gyroscope

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    I wonder why no ultrabook maker think about this -- a mode with HDMI in + bluetooth keyboard. I honestly won't carry both a laptop and a keyboard for my phone, but a laptop that double as a dock for my phone?

  • Bronislav Shtrom