Razer Project Linda takes a crack at melding phone and laptop

Bridging the gap between a smartphone and a PC isn't strictly a new concept. Samsung introduced its Dex desktop dock alongside its flagship Galaxy S8 handset, and Motorola took a stab at selling an Android phone with desktop and laptop docks with the Atrix 4G back in 2011. The laptop and the smartphone are still two entirely separate devices, suggesting no one has really gotten the combination just right. Razer thinks it might have the right formula with its Project Linda prototype laptop dock for its Razer Phone.

The Project Linda aluminum shell has a 13.3" touchscreen with a resolution of 2560×1440. The Razer Phone's 5.7" screen then serves as a touchpad and secondary display. The Phone's screen can display a second app or can be used in specially-coded apps as a custom second interface. The laptop chassis' keyboard could make content creation and office tasks easier, and the Razer Chroma-enabled RGB LED lighting makes sure that Linda's otherwise subdued styling stands out in a crowd.

Project Linda measures 0.6" (1.5 cm) thick. While still thin for a laptop, that figure is actually 0.04" (1 mm) thicker than Razer's more conventional Blade Stealth ultrabook. The laptop chassis uses its internal space to provide 200 GB of additional storage and a built-in power bank for topping off the Razer Phone's battery. The dock shell relies on the Phone's internal speakers for audio output.

For the time being, Project Linda is a concept. Given the relatively niche status of the Razer Phone, we imagine the target market for a laptop dock for it is quite small. The idea of smartphone apps with interfaces that can spread onto additional displays is intriguing, though.

Comments closed
    • dpaus
    • 2 years ago

    I think the first crack at this was [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Foleo<]Palm's 'Foleo' [/url<] (aka 'Faileo' for wankers lacking imagination 🙂 ). I actually got to try it out briefly, and thought it had potential. 10 years too early, obviously.

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    Better idea:
    Instead of requiring a vendor-locked phone to be inserted, replace the trackpad with a touchscreen. Eat your heart out Apple.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Oh sure Razer. You COULD do it that way.

    [puts away roll of duct tape]

    • Takeshi7
    • 2 years ago

    So… Why didn’t Microsoft and Intel do this back when Intel was making mobile x86 Atom chips so that the phone/laptop would be able to run full x86 Windows…

    So many billions of dollars wasted…

      • Anovoca
      • 2 years ago

      This was likley part of Microsoft’s phase 2 for windows 8 universal platform. Problem is they failed miserably with phase 1, creating a windows mobile platform the mainstream would accept.

        • Takeshi7
        • 2 years ago

        Well, they should have just made the x86 Windows phone/laptop phase 1. It would have been an instant success.

          • Anovoca
          • 2 years ago

          possibly, but that wouldn’t have solved the branding nightmare of windows 8.

            • Takeshi7
            • 2 years ago

            actually it would have solved that branding issue single handedly because you’d just have Windows 8. That’s it. No Windows Phone 8. No Windows RT. No consumer confusion.

            • Anovoca
            • 2 years ago

            eh, I don’t think consumer confusion played into it as much as poor reputation associated with the name. I had a windows 8 phone and loved it but the second someone would hear me say the name “windows 8” they would visibly cringe.

            • Takeshi7
            • 2 years ago

            maybe they wouldn’t have cringed if it didn’t have a gimped, non-existent app ecosystem.

          • mudcore
          • 2 years ago

          Classic x86 WIndows apps are not designed to work in the smartphone ecosystem or to smartphone users expectations or smartphone form factors and input/outputs. You’d have piles of apps that you’re trying to advertise as “works on your phone and PC” or “this one phone can be both” but the experience to the general user would be miserable.

            • Takeshi7
            • 2 years ago

            I’ve had no problems controlling normal x86 windows applications on my small tablet, and my phone even has a higher resolution screen than that. I’m sure I could manage.

            • mudcore
            • 2 years ago

            Ah yes, you definitely represent an entire market that must be out there. It’s not like a significant factor in the success of tablets and smartphones is their break from old UI designs and paradigms or anything.

            • Oem
            • 2 years ago

            Here’s the thing — Microsoft’s Windows “non-x86 anywhere” strategies on phone and non-phone failed miserably. Here’s someone suggesting maybe the exact opposite strategy (“x86 everywhere”) might have worked. And here you are saying you know it wouldn’t? It’s hard to imagine a worse outcome for MS (billions of dollars and years of development squandered, opportunity of a generaton missed) than what actually happened. I’d be willing to bet large sums that focusing on the Windows/x86 ecosystem instead would have had a better outcome.

            What has happened since? Abandonment of the phone market, abandonment of Windows/ARM, refocusing on Windows/x86… essentially embracing the same exact mission statement, minus x86 in a phone form factor, which doesn’t seem a big leap to suggest, or to imagine it would have some success, especially among professionals / corporate customers. We’ll never know the outcome if MS had done this early in the smartphone revolution, and pushed Intel to deliver closer to desktop-class performance in small-envelope CPUs beyond what the deliberately crippled Atom designs can do.

            As a software developer far more interested in Visual Studio than Candy Crush Saga, I can tell you the whole Windows Phone (and sadly Windows CE for many years before it) ecosystem has had zero pull for me. “It’s the ‘Windows’ brand name, yay! It just doesn’t run any of your apps!” WTF? Windows w/o the ecosystem has no value, not just to me but as a consumer brand either. If there was a WinPhone circa iPhone launch — or any time before or after for that matter — that had USB & HDMI out or a dock so it could double as a desktop (and bonus, as a portable HTPC for travel / vacations / parties) — I would for sure have been a happy Windows phone customer for the past decade.

            And whatever market share that ended up being, it would be wayyy larger than MS’s nonexistent toehold today, and MS would be happy to have it. The way things stand, there is zero optimism for growing their share. At least if they were a distant 3rd today, they could keep dreaming up plans to grow their share, rather than the impossible task of establishing one at this late date.

          • Voldenuit
          • 2 years ago

          They had Windows Continuum for select Windows 10 Phones.

          But WP10 was already such a niche product that nobody cared.

          Behold the [url=https://www.onmsft.com/news/ces-2017-startup-presents-mirabook-a-laptop-dock-for-windows-10-mobile-continuum<]Mirabook[/url<].

    • Anovoca
    • 2 years ago

    If you thought pocket dialing was bad, just wait for trackpad dialing…..

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 2 years ago

    I use Dex and love it. This would be even better.

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