29 Comments

Summary:

A Motorola Atrix 4G review kit arrived here from AT&T a few short hours ago, and I quickly set out to capture the unboxing on video, mainly because I received the full monty: the Atrix handset, standard dock, Laptop Dock, wireless keyboard, remote and mouse.

atrix-4g-laptop-dock=featured

A Motorola Atrix 4G review kit arrived here a short time ago, and I quickly set out to capture the unboxing on video, mainly because I received the full monty: the Atrix handset, standard dock, Laptop Dock, wireless keyboard, remote and mouse. The Atrix 4G takes advantage of AT&T’s HSPA+ network, and when placed in the Laptop Dock, becomes a modular mobile computer. The standard dock, combined with the wireless remote, turns the phone into a portable set-top box, capable of 1080p video playback on a high-definition television set.

I’ll be following up with a full review of the Atrix 4G after a few days of use, so stay tuned. I’m particularly interested in using the Laptop Dock as an all-day computer for two reasons. First I want to see what, if any, limitations are faced with a smartphone-as-computer setup even running on a peppy Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core chip. Second, the experience will tell me if the Laptop Dock is worth the $499 price-tag, although you can bundle it with the Atrix 4G at the same cost.

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  1. I think the display is 4″, not 4.3″ =)

    1. You sir, are correct! The Atrix display is 4″ at 960×540 resolution, so I mis-spoke in the video. Thx!

  2. “I’m particularly interested in using the Laptop Dock as an all-day computer for two reasons. First I want to see what, if any, limitations are faced with a smartphone-as-computer setup even running on a peppy Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core chip.”

    Looking forward to your opinion on this.

    I’ll state my bias: I’d like to see some of the hype and myths about a full laptop experience being dispelled.

    1. It should prove interesting because I’ve used both a 7″ UMPC and a netbook as a primary mobile device over the past few years. The difference of course is that they both had a full desktop OS, so this will definitely be a different experience.

  3. Steve ‘Chippy’ Paine Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    This is exciting. There’s obviously a ton of questions to be answered but I think the most important thing here is to see if the laptop dock really can fit in and provide usable productivity. Can the laptop be left at home? Can you do everything in *this* browser?

    Personally, I think there will be roadblocks but i’m looking forward to reviews of the Atrix dock as an important indicator in the move of smartphones into productivity PCs.
    Kevin, you’ve been through this browser experiment before, let’s see how it works out this time.

    Chippy

    1. Agreed, Steve. And I’m in the Firefox browser on the Laptop Dock, responding to this comment directly in WordPress. The experience isn’t that different from a netbook, although running a desktop-class browser from smarthphone hardware may show limits. I see a little sluggishness, for example, in the browser. (And in anticipation of you asking: SunSpider test shows 6224 ms which is comparable to the Galaxy TAB) Too early to tell, of course, but just sharing a quick thought from the Atrix.

  4. The docked phone reminds me a bit of the google cr-48 I just rec’d. Scores a 1778.7 in sunspider. I’m finding I like the cr-48 more than I thought, but only after a few days of adjustment.

  5. I have already seen in the early reviews that the Atrix is not much faster than single-core top of the line phones like the Galaxy S but what I am interested in is knowing if it is more consistently fast. I had an Epic which I returned and when it was running full speed it was wonderful but it would intermittently freeze or hiccup for a second or two here and there while performing basic functions, switching apps, home screens, scrolling, etc. My girlfriend has a DroidX which does the same thing. My hope is that having a second core for background tasks will get rid of the hiccups for those of us who like to multi-task and have a few apps running at once. Please weigh in on this once you have completed your testing.

    For many of us we aren’t searching for more speed, we are searching for consistent speed, especially those of us coming from iPhones who were a bit surprised to find even the fastest Android phones have a problem with lagging or stuttering in when you might least expect it.

  6. You got one already? I am so envious. I want one so bad. I will be getting one and with the Xoom tablet too.

  7. Does this device have swype texting?

    1. Yes, the Atrix 4G has Swype installed, but it’s not the default text input method. It’s easy to change over to Swype from the default multi-touch keyboard, however.

  8. Couple of questions I have not seen answered in any review yet:
    What is the resolution of the laptop accessory? I assume 720p since that is all the Atrix can put out for now? Any chance the hardware is 1080p since that is what they claim to support later?
    Can you access the webtop environment with a simple HDMI cable or do you have to fork over the dough for a “dock”?
    I had a Nokia N810 which had a micro-usb connection and supported the USB host capability if you connected a proper “host mode” cable. If you want to risk your review unit I’ll ship you the USB host mode cable and you can see if the Atrix works in host mode. My email is in the comments.

  9. I have a couple of questions about compatibility with other devices. The first is can you connect with other bluetooth brands of the keyboard and mouse, or do you have to have the Motorola ones. And second is if you can connect others, can you just plug the mini hdmi provided into the phone and tv without the dock, and use the bluetooth directly with the phone and have no need for the tv dock at all?

  10. Can you please upload some camera & video samples, is it quick in taking photos, how are the pictures & video in low light. Thanks.

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