When I get an email from my significant other, lauding the features, benefits and performance of a piece of technology, I know it’s a great device. In fact, in the 11 years we’ve been together, my better half has only been excited about anything with a keyboard or screen once – and that lucky little piece of machinery is the Motorola Lapdock 100.
The Lapdock is basically a shell of a laptop that does nothing until you insert your Motorola mobile phone into it. It then acts as a computer – with full keyboard, mouse pad and screen – all running off of your cell phone. I bought it after several short business trips where I only took my mobile phone and not my full laptop. My phone – a Motorola Photon – has enough power to do just about anything I need it to – email, web browsing, Word documents and even PowerPoint docs. My colleague Leslie was a little horrified to watch as I built and edited a PowerPoint presentation on the train from London to Paris last winter – but that’s another blog. The problem with the phone is it’s just too small. I tried to avoid buying the Lapdock at first – I figured I didn’t want to be locked into a single-manufacturer device. My home grown solution was inelegant, to say the least: picture a Bluetooth keyboard with an HDMI cord running from my phone to a small TV. Yeah. I actually did that. But after figuring out that contraption would be even harder to travel with than a laptop, I dumped it, bought the bullet and ordered the Lapdock.
First off – it’s light, extremely light. The hardware is nice – the keyboard and mouse pad are easy enough to use and I even have big fingers. The screen is good enough – we’re not talking iPad perfect here, but not bad, all things considered. Functionality is where this device really shines. The Lapdock gives you fullscreen access to all your device’s software and connectivity and even offers a few extra goodies, the best of which is an (almost) full-scale implementation of Firefox. The only thing I wasn’t able to do on the browser was watch Netflix. But that really wasn’t a problem – if I launched my cell phone browser through the Lapdock I could watch Netflix that way.
Now – one thing that has made the whole experience great has nothing to do with the actual hardware. That’s the Sprint Unlimited Data Plan and 4G service. This gives me as much full data access as I need to work the device like a real computer anywhere I want to go.
Drawbacks? There aren’t many. Occasionally the Lapdock and the phone take a few minutes to talk to each other the right way – the screen can freeze up or refuse to render correctly. But that happens infrequently and it’s usually pretty easy to fix.
If you travel for business or you just don’t want to buy an extra laptop for the den, give this a try.