The makers of the Superbook have developed a device that lets you use a smartphone like a laptop… by connecting a device that looks like a laptop and running an app that makes Android look more like a desktop operating system.
After raising nearly $3 million through a Kickstarter campaign in 2016, the team at Andromium had hoped to begin shipping Superbooks to backers in February. But now that date has been pushed back a few months.
The Superbook is currently scheduled to begin shipping in June.
Andromium cofounder Andrew Jiang says there are a few reasons for the delay:
- The industrial design of the Superbook was changed “to make it better suited for mass production.”
- Andromium is paying VAT and import taxes for backers, but offsetting those costs with slower shipping.
- Some component prices went up, and Andromium “need to spend some time sourcing for alternate vendors and components.”
Jiang says the company will offer a bit of compensation for the delay, including the aforementioned paying of VAT and import taxes. Backers will also get a lifetime code that’s good for $25 off any current or future Superbook models.
Each backer will get one of those $25 codes… and they let you save $25 per Superbook when you buy up to 10 units per year. You can also share the code with friends… but the limit is still discounts per code.
Its just creating new problems and not solving anything.
Component cost being what it is and without the scale afforded the major OEMs, I can’t imagine how the company expected to achieve the $99 price. By the time this thing ships (if it ships), it will end up with 9″ ~ 10″ portable DVD player display, no battery, and cables/AC adapter sold separately.
The worst thing about this isn’t the vapourware or the 16:9 aspect ratio…
….the worst thing is you don’t know where to put the phone.
Like what if you had the “Super”-book on top of your lap, does the phone just dangle freely by the cord?
It would’ve been best to incorporate the phone to snap into the shell of the device.
And a smart design would be to place it in the front, so the phone’s touchscreen can double as a trackpad and its flat position would also allow a proper gyroscopic scale for the device.
What you’re suggesting is impossible given there are thousands of different Android phones all of them different shapes, sizes, and connector configurations, especially given the target price.
This was what I was wondering as well. They definitely need a solution for this problem.
Of course, this is not trivial since this dock needs to work with a wide range of phones. How would you create a cradle which replaces the trackpad and handles any smartphone?
You know the in-car phone holders?
Make it so that the slot is an empty space.
The microUSB connector is a short free-dangling cable inside the empty space.
The side walls of the empty space are spring-loaded inwards.
There’s a physical lock button to lock the springs in place to secure properly.
So that it takes 30 secs to unlock, plug, orientate, and lock/secure the phone into place.
Future models could have the empty slot designed specifically for a phone model…
…example a OnePlus 3.
And companies could make new phone models (eg OnePlus 3T, 4, 5, etc) which have the same physical dimensions, thus, same accessory support.
Just like Apple’s iPhone 5, 5S, SE and the 6, 6S, 7 models.
Still too clunky and adds to the cost of manufacturing. Not going to happen. The only alternative that’s going to work is some kind of wireless solution where you can just place the phone next to the device and connect automatically, but that’s still some ways off.
Too clunky for amateurs.
With a seasoned designer it doesn’t have to be.
Adds to the cost?
Slightly. Remember removing the trackpad would save money.
But its a price worth to pay.
Not gonna happen now. Not gonna happen in the future.
As soon as we get a wireless solution that could work, our expectations of performance would have increased too. Its like a game of cat and mouse, except the mouse is always ahead, and accelerating faster than the cat.
Also see Motorola Atrix 4G and their LapDock concept from 2010/2011.
I am a backer and I regret it. I need to be more careful when buying hardware on kickstarter or a crowd sourced platform. Factor in some delays and some behind the scene issues, and by the time you get a device, if ever, it might not be as innovative or functional as you hoped. And then the issue of delays. This is concerning as I have to make a decision on an Eve Tablet I had put a partial payment down on indiegogo. I have more faith in the Eve company , but…should I?
I’m glad I never backed it now. With the delay Chinese companies will bring out cheaper models before this finally comes out.
This project interested me an awful lot until I saw that the superbook has a 16:9 aspect ratio. I settled instead for a smartphone and landscape-friendly budget tablet at 16:10 (w/BT keyboard and mouse). I hope these guys double-down and offer alternative aspect-ratios after working out logistics and stuff. Clearly… lots of interest in this type of product: they were asking for 50k and got nearly $3m!
A few thousand geeks that think they want this – maybe that is considered “lots of interest”. No “normals” will want this – and they shouldn’t.
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