The Consumer Electronics Show usually throws up its fair share of weird and wonderful gadgetry, and so it's proving once again for CES 2018. Take Project Linda from Razer, for example, a laptop concept where the brains and control system are provided by the company's flagship smartphone, and also serves as the trackpad.
We've seen many previous attempts at this kind of phones-powering-computers tech of course, but Project Linda stands out in terms of both its unique control system, and in giving off the impression that it actually might work.
The Razer Phone plugs right into where the laptop's trackpad should be, and then actually acts as the trackpad, as well as providing the brains and apps for the whole device. All the surrounding chassis really does is add a screen, a keyboard, a bigger battery, and some extra storage (200 GB in the demo unit Razer has been showing off at CES).
It's an idea that makes a lot of sense – using the brains of your phone but giving you the convenience of a keyboard and bigger screen – which is why manufacturers have been attempting it for years. Perhaps we're now at the point where smartphones have enough performance grunt to actually make the idea work.
This being Razer, the laptop shell is suitably striking, with colored, backlit keys. The screen measures 13.3 inches, with a Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440 pixel) display, and it can either mirror what's on the phone or act as a second screen for certain games and apps.
When docked, the interface switches to a more traditional laptop-style one, complete with a taskbar. You also get a pair of USB ports, one USB-A and one USB-C, for attaching accessories such as a mouse, as well as a 720p webcam, a microphone, and a 3.5 mm audio jack (something the phone itself doesn't have).
For now this is just a prototype, so there's no guarantee it'll ever go on sale, but Razer seems upbeat about Project Linda's prospects. With Android apps slowly becoming more comfortable on a bigger screen, hardware such as this and the likes of the Google Pixelbook are becoming more useful.
For example, you'd be able to power through your Gmail or Google Docs duties much more quickly on Project Linda than you would on just your phone, thanks to the relevant Android apps. You could even use it to see your Netflix movies at a bigger size.
You can see Razer's promo video for Project Linda below.
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