Mobility

Razer Project Linda creates a smartphone/laptop hybrid for professionals and gamers

Unlike other Android smartphone docks, the new solution from Razer has the phone act as the touchpad in the computer.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • The Razer Project Linda concept is an ultraportable laptop, powered by a docked Razer Android smartphone that also serves as the touchpad.
  • Project Linda features 200GB of internal storage and a built-in power bank to recharge the phone when it is docked.

Unveiled Tuesday at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Razer's Project Linda is a smartphone/laptop hybrid concept that uses the Android-based Razer Phone to power a 13.3-inch laptop. However, unlike similar dock concepts, Project Linda turns the phone into an interactive touch pad.

While the concept of a smartphone laptop dock has been around for a while, new life was recently breathed into the idea with the release of the Samsung DeX system. Now, with Razer more fully integrating the actual touchscreen of the phone as a touchpad for the laptop and a second screen, it could be a sign that these smartphone/laptop hybrids are on their way to showing real promise for enterprise users.

The Razer phone's Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform and 8GB of RAM will be powering the experience, a press release noted, so it's not a solution for power users. However, it could be a good fit for the on-the-go professional who occasionally needs a laptop form factor.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

"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," Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan said in the release.

The keyboard is full-sized, but is optimized for the Android OS, with dedicated keys for selecting specific apps, as well as those for search and navigation, the release noted. As is customary with most Razer products, the keys feature Chroma backlighting with customizable colors.

With the phone docked, the entire Project Linda setup is 15 millimeters thick and weighs a little less than three pounds, the release noted. The dock also features its own 53.6 Wh internal battery that, when fully charged, can charge the docked phone three separate times.

Project Linda also has 200GB of storage where a user can put backups or additional media. It features a 3.5-millimeter audio jack, a USB-A port, a USB-C charging port, a 720p webcam, and a dual-array microphone, according to the release.

Despite its novelty, there are two glaring issues with Project Linda. First is the dock being the exact size and shape of the Razer Phone. The entire system would be rendered completely useless if Razer changes the phone's form factor with its next release—an extremely common move by smartphone manufacturers.

Second, the system doesn't solve any major issues for users. It still requires the carrying of, essentially, two separate devices, and doesn't necessarily bring equitable power or performance of a second standalone laptop. It's just a concept for now, but for Project Linda to catch on with professionals or creatives, the price would have to be extremely low to make it win out over a second laptop.

Check out the full review of the Razer Project Linda on our sister site CNET.

Also see

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Image: Razer

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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