In September 2011, Verizon added a fourth device to its growing lineup of 4G LTE smartphones--the Motorola Droid Bionic. Like the Motorola Atrix, released in April, the Bionic supports the Motorola Lapdock accessory. The Lapdock is basically a large docking station complete with keyboard, LCD screen, and trackpad. It's nearly identical to the Atrix Lapdock, but the two are not compatible. Jason Hiner reviewed the Atrix and Lapdock.
After cracking open the Bionic, I was interested to examine the hardware inside the Lapdock. From the outside, it looks like an ultrathin laptop, and I wondered if the internal hardware would also be the same. It was, with a few notable exceptions.Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Motorola Droid Bionic Lapdock
Cracking Open observations
- Standard Phillips #00 screws: I was able to remove all the Lapdock's external and internal screws with a Phillips #00 screwdriver.
- Laptop-like construction: If it weren't for the phone cradle and forward position of the lid hinges, the Lapdock would be indistinguishable from an average ultra-portable laptop.
- Interchangeable phone cradle: As I noted above, the Atrix and Bionic Lapdocks have connectors that are specifically designed for their respective phones. You can't connect a Bionic to an Atrix Lapdock. But other than their phone cradles, the Lapdocks appear to be identical. I haven't cracked open the Atrix Lapdock, but I wouldn't be surprised if Bionic version was an exact copy with a different phone cradle.
- Incredibly small motherboard: Given that the Lapdock lacks a CPU, RAM, and storage module, it doesn't need a large motherboard. In fact, the Lapdock has one of the smallest motherboards I've seen on a laptop-sized device.
- No HDMI output: The Lapdock has two USB 2.0 ports, but no HDMI output. Given that you can use the Bionic's HD Station accessory to pass HDMI video output from the phone to a TV and monitor, it would have been nice to do the same with the Lapdock. Many laptop users have external monitors. I use a 32-inch TV as a second monitor for my MacBook Pro.
Our Droid Bionic Lapdock had the following hardware:
- 11.5-inch LCD screen
- Li-ion battery
- Two internal stereo speakers
- 3898-MZDH D1T053 1122 D0SA trackpad controller
- Realtek RTD2472D HDMI LCD monitor controller
- Macronix MX25L1005A CMOS serial flash
- ANPEC APA2031 Stereo 2.6W Audio Amplifier
- Texas Instruments BQ24726 1-4 Cell Li+ Battery SMBus Charge Controller
- Texas Instruments M430F5522 Mixed Signal Controller
- Parade 7408 BV1N19
- Texas Instruments TVL2556 12-Bit, 200 KSPS, 11 Channel, Low Power, Serial ADC with Internal Reference
- Unknown chip with markings 24C16K S12020
- Fairchild FDMC 7200
- Unknown chip with markings EM DC 10S
- Holtek HT82K94E USB Multimedia Keyboard Encoder
- Unknown chip with markings N161 G547F1
- SMSC USB2517 USB 2.0 Hub Controller
- Unknown chip with markings PJ1196 SX34H
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. He was most recently Managing Editor for TechRepublic Pro. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.