It’s many turn a CES tradition during this indicate for Razer to uncover adult with some arrange of cold new antecedent square of hardware. And this year during CES 2018, a association is arrangement off Project Linda, a messenger square of hardware for a recently expelled Razer Phone that extends a smartphone into a full laptop.
And while we’ve seen this pretence before — going behind as distant as products like the Motorola Atrix and a messenger Lapdock, or some-more recently with Samsung’s DeX dock — Razer has an engaging spin on a lapdock with Project Linda. Instead of usually regulating a phone as a smarts of a hybrid laptop, it also repurposes it as a trackpad.
From a hardware perspective, Project Linda is some-more or reduction a mutated Razer Blade Stealth (albeit one that is 0.05-inches thicker, so a Razer Phone lies flush). There are a integrate other changes to accommodate a peculiarities of how a Razer Phone works. There’s no energy button, given a side-mounted energy symbol / fingerprint sensor on a Razer Phone serves in that purpose instead. Similarly, there are no speakers on a Project Linda hardware, given Razer is regulating a Razer Phone’s stereo speakers. And a few keyboard buttons have been substituted out for Android home, back, and multitasking buttons, along with dedicated app launcher and Google Assistant buttons.
Hooking adult a Razer Phone to Project Linda is simple: place a phone into a slot, and press a hardware symbol that causes a USB-C pier to extend directly into a Razer Phone, concurrently locking it in place. The whole hardware is powered off a phone; all a Project Linda bottom contributes is some additional storage space (around 200GB on a stream prototype) and additional batteries, so a Razer Phone charges a whole time it’s docked.
From a opening perspective, many of a apps run like they would on an Android tablet. Some apps — like Chrome — take to a rodent and keyboard improved than others, given that Razer hasn’t indeed had a possibility to get developers to optimize apps for Project Linda given it’s still a prototype. Additionally, a arrangement is usually means to counterpart a phone in a stream state, instead of displaying dual opposite screens (although a association is anticipating to get to that point).
Razer hopes that Project Linda will make it probable to extend a capabilities of a Razer Phone, both for capability and gaming. we was means to try a demo of an picture editor, along with Vainglory, a MOBA-style diversion designed for mobile devices, and they did work as betrothed in a approach that felt some-more estimable than their phone-based versions, nonetheless a miss of a physically clicking touchpad did take some removing used to.
It’s all really engaging and neat, though it’s also tough to get too vehement when looking behind during Razer’s past CES showings. While it’s fun to see cold projects like a wild three-screen Project Valerie prototype from final year or a completely modular Project Christine antecedent from 2012, conjunction incited into genuine hardware. They usually finished adult as PR moments to assistance a association gleam during a disharmony of CES.
Razer says that it likes to perspective these announcements as a approach to get consumer feedback — some do eventually make it to market, like a company’s Project Fiona tablet — and that even when they don’t finish adult shipping in their strange forms, a RD that goes into them can surprise other products that do strech consumers. For example, a association says that record from Project Christine sensitive a Razer Core outmost GPU hub, that is all good and good, though it’s not scarcely as desirous as a strange prototype.
With all that in mind, it’s tough to contend either or not Project Linda will ever make it to market, and if it does, either a final incarnation will demeanour anything like what we’re saying today. But even if it doesn’t, it’s still an engaging prophesy of how device manufacturers competence be means to extend a energy of smartphones even further. And who knows? Maybe Razer will be a one to finally get a laptop wharf judgment to work.
Photography by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge