Remember a few years ago when there were a bunch of crowdfunding campaigns for laptop-like devices that essentially let you use your phone like a notebook computer?
But that hasn’t stopped new models from popping up. Notebook Italia spotted one at the Global Sources Electronics Fair in Hong Kong.
The latest version is called the Colorii LapDock 14.1, and as the name suggests, it has a 14.1 inch display. While the device looks like a laptop computer, it doesn’t have its own processor or operating system.
Plug in a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S8 using a USB Type-C cable and the LapDock 14.1 uses Samsung’s DeX software to display a desktop-style user interface with a taskbar and start menu-like app launcher. You can view multiple apps at once thanks to resizeable app windows that you can move anywhere on the display.
The full-sized keyboard and large touchpad let you interact with your apps as if you were using a notebook. And the LapDock 14.1 has a 10,000 mAh battery that can charge your phone while you’re using it.
There are two USB Type-C ports, so you can use one to charge the LapDock while your phone is connected. And there are two USB 3.0 Type-A ports for connecting a mouse, storage device, or other accessories. There’s also a headset jack and a microSD card slot with support for cards up to 256GB.
Colorii says the LapDock 14.1 has a 1080p IPS display, an aluminum chassis, and that it measures about 13.1″ x 8.5″ x 0.5″ and weighs about 2.3 pounds. It’s said to be compatible with Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 or later phones, Huawei Mate 10 or P20 phones, the Smartian Pro 2S, or Windows 10 Mobile phones with Continuum support… if that’s something you still care about.
But honestly, with smartphone displays getting larger, I wonder if this entire product category is anything people still care about. It seems like it would be easier to just pair a cheap Bluetooth keyboard with your phone if you want to do a lot of writing on it rather than lugging around a laptop-sized device that doesn’t even work as a standalone laptop.
Still, for fans of the concept I suppose it’s nice to have another option.
The Colorii LapDock 14.1 should go into mass production in early 2019. There’s no word on how much it will cost or where you’ll be able to buy one.