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?

Some of them finally started shipping this year (to less-than-stellar reviews), while others have yet to come hit the streets.

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.

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11 replies on “Do you still want a laptop dock for your phone? (Because here’s another one)”

  1. This feels like it was such a novel and exciting idea three years ago. Now, it looks like a concept that was outdated before it got off the ground. A desktop environment that comes with you in phone form seems like a great idea, but with small-form notebooks (mostly Chromebooks) with equal or more power than a phone for nearly the same price as a dock, it seems silly to carry around something without its own guts.

    Keep trying, desktop phone docks, you goofy little underdogs.

  2. For $100-150, this could be a great accessory to a powerful smartphone, especially in the Razer Linda style (phone docked in place of the touchpad).

    I would also love to have a docking place for a small pair of bluetooth headphones on the lapdock.

    Samsung’s prototype “Linux on Galaxy” would be the ideal software for these kinds of accessories (together with the DeX capability). That would provide you with a full Linux desktop environment, not only some dumb, Android-based window management extension. That could also supply the touchpad integration in the form of KDE Connect (which has such a builtin function and works brilliantly)

  3. Actually, yes! I was about to modify an old Lenovo X300 for this, but sourcing a 13.3″ FHD screen prooved to be harder and more expensive than I thought and the different voltages required for the screen and the rest made it a bit more complicated than What I intended to do with a 10000mAh powerbank. So I am interrested, but I’d rather finish my own project first.

  4. I think phone docking is awesome and I don’t understand why the argument against it is that smartphone displays are getting larger. Even the largest phablet is nowhere near the size of the 14″ display on this Colorii LapDock!

    1. Now we have 2:1 screeens, very few are even close to a 7″ tablet. The diagonal may be similar but the perceived area is a triumph of marketing over geometry.

  5. I personally have stopped caring about such devices. Instead, I got a 512gb small ssd, installed windows to go on it and started using it as a portable computer. There are plenty of PCs wherever you go and using your own OS on an SSD and customized to your needs is way more practical.

  6. I still think the best implementation I’ve seen of this was Razer’s Project Linda prototype. But even so… BT keyboards and mice are ridiculously cheap nowadays…

    Plus, USB-C and what standards are actually implemented (Power Delievery, Displayport Alt Mode, etc.) is still too much of a cluster to allow this market to get off the ground.

    1. Yeah, Razer’s solution was the best one yet.
      It gave you decent speakers (from the phone), a good trackpad (from the phone), and a sturdy slot to house your phone.

      The only thing missing was a compelling software/reason to get on board.
      Now, if an OEM did the same solution as Razer but did a decent job with the software and bundled the laptop in the box…. then yeah, I would expect to see people begin to use these out in the wild.

      Otherwise, this concept doesn’t stand a chance.

  7. My Sentio dock arrived. I installed the software as they asked, did the adb shell update they requested, tested. It worked …fine. I then updated firmware, from their app. It now doesn’t recognize my phone(OnePlus5), at all, but will see my tablet. I’ve requested support a week ago, so far NOTHING. It’s a neat idea, which doesn’t work as expected.

    1. Sentio did reply, and with a proper solution. I’m much more pleased. This is at least useful, though, needs a great deal of polish.

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