Razer showcased an intriguing Project Linda at CES 2018, demonstrating how its Razer Phone could turn into an Android laptop.
Razer Project Linda
The new Project Linda introduced at CES 2018 is a companion lapdock for the Razer Phone, allowing the gaming smartphone to transform into a full Android laptop. While the idea is far from new, Razer's implementation is interesting as it not only uses the smartphone as the brains of the whole ensemble but also uses it as the laptop's trackpad.
Hardware-wise, Project Linda somewhat resembles the Razer Blade Stealth, but with several modifications to accommodate the new combo. First off, it's 0.05-inch thicker so that the Razer Phone does not protrude. Secondly, Project Linda does not have a power button or speakers, as it relies on the Razer Phone's power button and stereo speakers.
Razer also changes the keyboard to include buttons for Android home, multitasking, and back, just like on Android, as well as a Google Assistant button and an app launcher.
Razer Mobile Personal Computing
The 13.3-inch Project Linda hybrid heralds a new era of mobile computing, mixing the Android ecosystem with the versatility of a laptop. Razer points out that not many companies take their chances with smartphones, laptops, and user interfaces like it did, which puts Project Linda in a privileged position to bridge the gap between laptops and smartphones.
The Razer Phone's Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 8 GB of RAM deliver plenty of horsepower, fueling Project Linda as a speedy Android laptop. The phone's screen can serve either as a touchpad or as a second display to access apps and more.
Project Linda: The Best Of Both Worlds
"Android power users and laptop enthusiasts share a need for performance in a mobile form factor, which we provide with our award-winning Razer Phone and Razer laptops," said Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer. "Project Linda combines the best of both worlds, bringing a larger screen and physical keyboard to the Android environment, enhancing the experience for gaming and productivity."
Setting things up is pretty simple: just place the Razer Phone into the special slot of the Project Linda, where the touchpad would normally be, and press a button to hook it up to the USB Type-C port and lock it in place. The phone powers the whole combo, but the lapdock does add some more storage and battery power, charging the phone in the process.
It is important to note, however, that while it is an exciting and promising prototype, it remains to be seen whether it would turn into an actual product. Many projects Razer showcases at CES remain in the prototype state, so Project Linda might never make it to market.