Was the Motorola Lapdock ahead of its time (like the Palm Foleo before it)? Asus and Acer sure seem to think so.

While Motorola never sold as many of its smartphone accessories that let you use your phones as the brains of a laptop as the company may have liked, that hasn’t stopped Asus from releasing a series of “Padfones,” which turn your smartphone into a tablet or a laptop with the help of a docking station or two.

Now Acer is showing off a concept called Acer Extend which lets you run Android apps on a laptop-sized screen while using a laptop-sized keyboard and touchpad.

Acer Extend

Basically, the Acer Extend prototype has the shell of a laptop, but it doesn’t have its own processor, memory, storage, or operating system. Instead, you connect your smartphone with a cable and your phone acts like the laptop’s brains, letting you use the device to surf the web, watch videos, play games, or use other Android apps on a bigger screen.

The prototype has a full-sized keyboard and a 6000mAh battery which you can use to recharge your phone while it’s plugged in.

There are also dedicated function keys on the keyboard which let you toggle WiFi and Bluetooth, launch the Mail app, and perform other functions.

Acer hasn’t yet committed to launching the Acer Extend, but it could be ready to go as soon as next year if the company decides to move forward.

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7 replies on “Acer Extend turns your smartphone into a notebook”

  1. Looks very similar to the casetop by lividesign, cover previosuly by Brad a few months ago

  2. Seems nice but I wouldn’t get it. I’d rather have a more powerful notebook with a desktop OS. For me, if I’m opting to use my notebook it’s likely because I need the features of a desktop OS and/or the performance of a significantly more powerful system.

  3. Unless the phone has some connector better than USB 2.0 this is going to be painful to use

    edit: OK they’re touting a possible “Bluetooth option”–that’s even worse

    1. Did you watch the video from the source link? It’s pretty smooth in terms of operation.

  4. Speaking as an Atrix Lapdock owner (the model that doesn’t do any device white-listing) these things are not as useful as you think. The idea seems great, but then modern devices have issues outputting to a monitor and taking USB input at the same time. Then if that works you realise that Android just wasn’t meant to be used with a touchpad, and that Windows or something like it is much more useful in this form factor. These days I use my Lapdock as a second monitor for my desktop or my netbook, where it seems to feel at home.

  5. While this a good idea in the right direction, why doesn’t acer just allow us to connect our android phones to all of their (future) computers? This way, we can have the best of both worlds: a laptop with windows and android (almost like a dual boot).

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