Razer has a very good reputation among the gaming community and its die-hard fans. This is a company that focuses on gaming laptops, sharp-looking accessories, services, and now caters to a new niche that was recently defined by Razer: a smartphone made with the mobile gamer in mind.
I’m sure that you’ve heard all about Razer’s Project Linda, which has caught the attention of many media outlets at CES 2018. Adding onto the company’s vision, Razer took CES to unveil a laptop dock called Project Linda. Officially an “Android Laptop/Phone Hybrid Concept” – this is a laptop chassis with a 13.3-inch 16:9 display that you can dock a Razer Phone into. While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a laptop dock for a smartphone, this is the first time we’ve seen one that brings a host device to the center of the experience. Basically, Razer took the chassis of its Blade Stealth ultrabook, removed most of the internals, and replaced the trackpad with a slot for the company’s phone. The laptop locks in the device with a simple, yet effective mechanism and then the phone’s screen is mirrored to the 13″ display while also acting as the trackpad.
The laptop shell has a slot where the Razer Phone fits perfectly, right where there would otherwise be a touchpad. The fingerprint scanner lives on the Razer Phone’s power button and Razer even thought to leave it exposed so you can still reach your fingerprint scanner. A dedicated docking key toggles a motorised USB-C connector, which slides into the phone’s charging port, locking it into place.
Once docked, the display will come on and you’ll see a Sentio-based UI. This UI adapts Android’s touch-interface to play nicer with keyboard and mouse inputs, complete with windowed apps. You could take advantage of a more versatile interface for things like editing photos or videos, as well as playing Android games. Razer pushes this a whole step forward by suggesting that the phone’s screen could be used as an auxiliary panel to the laptop’s display’s.
While I liked the idea of Project Linda, I have yet to be convinced on whether it needs to come to the market. We’ve had many attempts at laptop/phone hybrids before and Razer doesn’t seem to be offering anything truly new to the concept except a more polished, fresh coat of RGB paint. Other than that, I think there are two problems with Project Linda: 1. the software experience is buggy and messy and 2. you need a Razer Phone to use this.
Regardless, I applaud Razer for trying something different, though I’m not convinced of either its actual utility or the likelihood that it will ever see the light of day.