Droid Bionic

When Motorola launched the Atrix 4G smartphone this year it was the first phone from the company to work with an optional laptop docking station that allows you to use some of the phone’s functions with an 11.6 inch display and a full-sized keyboard. But Motorola said the Atrix 4G wouldn’t be the only phone with a “webtop” docking station.

It’s taken the better part of a year, but now we have the second phone with an optional webtop: The Motorola Droid Bionic. Verizon will start selling the phone tomorrow for about $300 when you sign up for a contract. The laptop dock can be yours for another $300.

Or you know, you could just spend your $600 on two netbooks, 3 iPods touch, or you know, just not spend all that money.

Motorola webtop docking stations grabbed my attention earlier this year, since they provide a way to use your phone like a laptop without having to sync data between multiple devices. The phone is the brains of the laptop. But unlike the upcoming Asus Padfone, which really just blows up a smartphone user environment to fill the screen of a 10 inch tablet, the webtop systems use an Ubuntu Linux-based operating system that offers little more than a Firefox web browser and the ability to control your phone to make calls or run apps in a small window that doesn’t fill the whole screen.

In other words, there’s really not much reason to use the webtop when you can find all sorts of other devices for $300 or less which do just as good a job of surfing the web.

For $99 or less, a webtop would be a really nice addition to a smartphone. For $300 it’s a much tougher sell. Then again, Motorola has been offering the Atrix 4G with a webtop dock for a while, and I can only imagine the company wouldn’t have bothered making one for the Droid Bionic if the Atrix model wasn’t selling.

It turns out that if you bought a webtop for the Motorola Atrix 4G and you were thinking about upgrading to a Droid Bionic, you’ll have to buy another webtop. The docking stations are not interchangeable.

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5 replies on “Motorola Droid Bionic laptop dock doubles the cost of an expensive smartphone”

  1. LMAO! I just picked up my laptop dock at the Verizon Store for $50 Today! 

  2. it’s the third phone with optional webtop accessories, the photon has a HD dock to enable this. What you meant was the second phone to offer an optional lapdock.

    And the lapdock is 160, you get the 100 off on credit and another in store discount of 20% for accessories. Just ask in the store and they’ll figure it out.

    What most people fail to point out in these articles is that the MAIN point of getting the lapdock is you get a LTE notebook with no additional monthly costs for $160. That’s the real point of the lapdock. Or you can stick with a netbook/macbook then get a LTE mifi/USB dongle with an additional monthly plan. I’ve used it as a $160 LTE notebook on a beach already in Miami. no extra dongles or mifi.

    Plus it charges your phone and you can make and receive calls on speakerphone. There’s no fuss, just plug it in or take it off.

    And about interchangeability…aside from the obvious fact it’s a carrier related issue (ATT and Sprint subsidized their webtop accessories), even if you got the Atrix or Photon on launch day this year (2/22 and 7/31), why would any sane person pay an ETF to switch over to Verizon from AT&T and Sprint, unless they REALLY want LTE?

  3. This is truly unacceptable that Motorola has launched this android phone without GSM abilities .Earlier I was believed that this will be a world phone & will work on CDMA and gsm both. I don’t know what they have been doing? Motorola…

    1. World phone?  Motorola Photon $99 with contract.

      Verizon costs too much.

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