Acer’s first Windows 10 smartphone with support for Windows 10 Continuum starts shipping today (in some parts of the world — it’s coming to the US, but isn’t available here yet).
You can connect the Acer Liquid Jade Primo to a docking station, connect an external mouse, keyboard, and display and use the phone like a desktop.
But later this year, you’ll also be able to use it like a laptop. That’s because Acer has unveiled an upcoming laptop dock called the Liquid Extend. It’s a lot like the NexDock or Superbook, but it’s one of the first devices in this category from a major computer or smartphone company since Motorola discontinued its Lapdock.
The Liquid Extend features an 11.6 inch, 720p display and it should be available in the third quarter of 2016. Acer hasn’t yet announced any pricing.
I got a chance to spend a few minutes with a demo model, and it’s incredibly light, but has a decent-feeling keyboard and a touchpad… that didn’t work at all on the demo unit I tested. I had to use the Liquid Jade Primo phone that was connected via a USB-C cable as a touchpad.
Continuum for phone lets you run Universal Windows Platform apps on a larger display, taking advantage of the extra screen real estate for multi-column views, among other things. But you won’t be able to run legacy Win32 apps in this mode, and you can’t even view multiple apps side-by-side. Everything runs in full screen.
Still, Microsoft’s software makes it at least conceivable that one day your phone could be the only computer you need to carry… and you could connect it to laptop, desktop, or other docking stations to change the way you use it.