Good news everybody: AT&T plans to start taking pre-orders for the Motorola Atrix 4G on February 13th. The bad news? The phone won’t be quite as cheap as we had hoped if you’re planning on picking up the optional Webtop laptop docking station.

AT&T has announced pricing for the Android smartphone, which will run $199.99 when you sign up for a 2-year contract, but it will cost $499.99 to purchase the docking station that effectively turns the phone into a laptop computer. That means the docking station will be about twice as expensive as we’d been hearing… and it will cost even more if you don’t buy the Webtop at the same time as the phone.  Oh yeah, you’ll also have to pay for a tethering add-on in addition to your smartphone data plan.

The dock will run $499.99 if purchased separately.

The Motorola Atrix 4G is a smartphone with a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage spce. It runs Google Android 2.2 and supports AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ mobile broadband service.

The Webtop docking station has an 11.6 inch display and a separate 36Whr battery. When you dock the phone, it acts as the brains of the laptop, powering a custom Linux-based operating system with a full Firefox web browser. While the phone is docked you can also run Android apps is a window, and make phone calls.

Sure, $500 isn’t a bad price for a smartphone and a laptop, and the Atrix 4G and Webtop can function as both. But if you have to pay $300 for the Webtop, I have to wonder why you wouldn’t just spend $300 on a netbook or other computer that functions as a standalone device — and works even when you don’t dock your phone. The Webtop is basically useless without the Atrix 4G.

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12 replies on “AT&T to offer the Atrix 4G for $200 on contract, $500 with laptop dock”

  1. Was a good idea… And even $189 for the dock wouldn’t be bad. But tethering charge? $299 dock? Haha… They think people are made of money? And this is their first generation too – they are nuts. AT&T marketers that make $150k and more a year might think the $200/month price for this toy is reasonable but the average working stiff won’t. I think they must be forgetting about the recession and stuff 😛

  2. Unlike the iPhony, prices will come down… so expect within a few months specials and the price of the dock to be cur in half.

  3. This officially kills the Atrix. Too bad, I relay wanted it to succeed.

    1. You never know, there is still some indication the Atrix won’t be a AT&T exclusive, forcing competition, and it’s typical for these devices to be sold at higher price when they first come out for various reasons, like limited availability, but they usually drop a month or a few later to much more reasonable pricing.

      So a little early to tell yet…

  4. If you don’t buy the Webtop + Atrix combo for $500 (requires Data Pro plan with tethering), the Webtop by itself will cost $500. Yep.

    Source: Press release posted on Engadget

    1. Yep. That’s why I said “The dock will run $499.99 if purchased separately” in the article… but looking at it again I think maybe I should have given that line its own paragraph.

  5. This device sucked from the beginning people. The pricing is just an excuse for people to turn away from it now… I mean all the hype and praise about it you’d think everyone would pay a premium price!!

    The data tethering plan is a killer especially when no tethering is involved!!

    1. Unfortunately, we’ll be seeing more bandwidth throttling pricing strategies in the future. Like Verizon is also going to adopt a two month throttling limit if you go over your data limit (revolving top 5% of abusers).

      Simply put the other foot is dropping on so called cloud computing in that the network bandwidth isn’t ready yet! So to avoid crippling traffic, as the public uses more and more connected devices, we’re going to see more and more limits set on mobile data plans.

      The reasons people like the Motorola Atrix though are still valid, it’s just the market reality that we can’t yet get it as cheaply as we may want it yet and Motorola tends to be pricey as well… But the innovations of being able to dock our phones is a step in the right direction for device convergence.

      Hopefully the next step would be to allow us to dock our phones with say our Netbooks and let us switch seamlessly between them for even more useful device convergence and not be so dependant on the cloud until it’s ready…

      1. Oh come on … why on earth is the atrix a great idea?? It becomes a weak laptop system with a bulky dock connector permanently fixed to the back of it. The laptop becomes a little more cumbersome to use on a lap or anywhere else that isn’t as desk. Hmm and then calling and working on the laptop at the same time will be a mess..

        The the idea of docking phones to netbooks is an even worse idea. It has been done and we have moved on. Smartphones used to have docks to sync but they were phased out mostly and replaced by simple usb cables and bluetooth connections. Why would we want to go back to the bulk? And even more so why would we want to fix to to our netbooks so we increase the bulk and weight of the netbook permanently?

        Bad idea. Only tech dreamers like it for the sake of it being new technology but it doesn’t add anything to make things easier or better.

        1. Docking a phone to a netbook has never been done! We’re talking convergence, not simple tethering or using the phone as a modem! Also the dock by no means needs to be bulky!

          I’m referring to a set up similar to the Atrix dock, in which you can run the netbook from the phone for a Smartbook setup when you want and switch to the netbook when you want more. Similarly the dock can fold flat when not being used.

          The Atrix itself only allows you to run a remote Windows 7 PC with the optional Citrix app, which won’t let you run much more than MS Office or similar apps.

          Benefits of convergence means you can carry less and configure the system as needed to be more efficient.

          If all you’re going to do is web browse then a ARM system will be far more efficient than any x86 system. Using less power and allows end user to make actual use of device overlap that presently just makes many of these devices redundant!

          Atrix is a step in this direction for convergence, allowing a smart phone to also work as a smart book when needed, providing one device that can cover a range of uses that normally requires multiple devices, and for people who need to be connected all the time and can’t rely on WiFi then this becomes a very useful solution. Not to mention eliminating the need to sync over multiple devices.

          The Atrix is also not limited to just the dock, which just takes just seconds to switch between the phone and the dock anyway. Since the Atrix is fully usable as a Smart phone and people don’t have to buy it with the dock if they don’t need it in that capacity.

          Phone functionality also doesn’t need to be impaired, you can either undock it and use it as a phone or access the Android OS and either set up a speaker-phone conversation or use a bluetooth headset like many people already do with Smart-phones for hands free use. While undocking is no different than just disconnecting a external keyboard/monitor. Everything is running from the Atrix!

          Speaking of which, they will also be offering a basic table top dock that you can optionally connect to a monitor or tv with USB keyboard for home use or just to watch a movie without draining the batteries.

          So while the price may be a little too high, the product itself is appealing for those who need to be mobile but don’t necessarily need everything taken with them on the go. Like people who travel while doing business, journalists, bloggers, teachers, etc…

  6. I agree, this is not good news. I was pumped for this for, but in no way am I going to pay MORE for The laptop dock than an actual netbook. I am also not going to pay for tethering so that my phone can use a different display. 189 for the media dock is also fairly pricey. With prices like this I can only assume this phone (and especially the lap top dock) won’t see the market penetration.

    Shame really, this phone seemed like it would be the next big phone. OH well, I will stop waiting for this now.

  7. This is quite bizarre. AT&T really needs to get a strong footing in the Android world (I am an AT&T Android stepchild) and this is not how to do it. The dock is ridiculously priced and they are expecting us to pay for tethering for what amounts to a display and keyboard? You are essentially paying to tether your phone to itself!! Insane!

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