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12 January 2018, 05:32 | Lucia Cruz
Razer's Project Linda lifts a phone to laptop level
Project Linda is the company's new 13.3-inch laptop, which is powered by its a year ago launched Android-based Razer phone. David and I dropped by Razer's booth to take a look at the concept, and while the wide-eyed technology enthusiast in me thought it was super neat, my pragmatic side remained unconvinced.
Where the trackpad of the notebook is present, there is a retractable USB-C port that allows you to dock the Razer Phone. Razer has not yet released any specific information for when the device will be updated, but we expect it to be soon. Over at Samsung, the conversion is made using the DeX desktop gadget, plugging a Galaxy S8 or Note 8 into a special dock and using the phone as a computer. The prototype runs on a 53.6 Wh internal battery, which can also charge the Razer Phone full three times when there's no access to a power source.
But that's just the most basic use of the enclosed phone.
. That said, the keyboard also features Android's back, home and recent app navigation keys because what you are seeing on Project Linda is Android after all. However, for sound output, it relies on Razer Phone's speakers as it doesn't have any built-in speaker, and, it only works with Razer Phone and not any other Android smartphone. Connectivity afforded via Project Linda includes a built in 3.5-millimeter audio jack, a USB-A port, a USB-C charging port, 720p webcam, and a dual-array microphone, giving a range of options for communication and external devices.
Unlike with the Palm Foleo and the Motorola Atrix, the Razer Phone's screen acts as the trackpad in Project Linda, and it worked well when I tried it at CES 2018.
In practice, one of our favorite things was the mounting mechanism. This whole process is fairly quick, and makes the most awesome, short whirring noise. On top of that, there are no speakers on the Project Linda itself; instead, it will utilize the phone's stereo speakers.
Gaming-focused computer veteran Razer has made a habit of demonstrating ambitious, droolworthy or just outright insane concepts at major trade shows like CES, so we can't say we're shocked to see Project Linda aiming to bridge the gap between mobile devices and laptops this year. It'll be a shame to see Project Linda go to docks, but even if Razer comes up with the commercial launch, it won't be cheap.
Regardless, I applaud Razer for trying something different.
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