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The Motorola ATRIX 4G – a PC in your pocket

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January 9, 2011

The Motorola ATRIX 4G packs the power of a PC into a smartphone

The Motorola ATRIX 4G packs the power of a PC into a smartphone

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As powerful and multi-functional as smartphones have become, Motorola is looking to go one step further with its ATRIX 4G. Powered by a Tegra dual-core processor with each core running at 1 GHz to deliver up to 2 GHz of processing power and 1 GB of RAM, the device is designed to act as the brains of a computer that can be taken with you. In addition to being what Motorola calls the “world’s most powerful smartphone,” the ATRIX 4G is also designed to slot into external docks that turn the device into the engine for a desktop or laptop PC.

The Android 2.2 powered device runs Motorola’s Webtop application – a windowed UI that runs a full Firefox 3.6 browser with support for Flash 10.1 and provides multi-tasking capabilities. Users can run Android applications in a window, send instant messages and make phone calls, all at the same time. The device also comes with an integrated Citrix Receiver application to provide secure access to virtual desktops as well as Windows, web and office applications hosted on Citrix XenDesktop.

The Motorola ATRIX 4G and HD Multimedia Dock

At CES 2011, Motorola was demonstrating the ATRIX 4G being used with the HD Multimedia Dock and the Laptop Dock. The phone connects to the docks via its mini USB and mini HDMI ports. The HD Multimedia Dock then provides three USB ports and an HDMI port, so it can be connected to a monitor or HDTV, and USB input devices such as a keyboard and mouse. There’s also a remote for controlling multimedia content from the couch when using the device’s Entertainment Center application.

The Motorola ATRIX 4G and Laptop Dock

Meanwhile, the Laptop Dock features an 11.6-inch screen, full keyboard, trackpad, two USB ports, and stereo speakers and provides up to eight hours of battery life. Weighing in at 2.6 lb (1.17 kg), the ATRIX 4G slots into the back left of the device behind the display to give users a laptop form factor that leverages the power of the phone.

When users undock the phone, it retains the state of the Webtop app between sessions so when it is plugged back in – even to a different dock – the previous session is automatically restored. The content is also available when the phone is undocked, so if you didn’t finish reading a web page on your monitor before you had to head out the door, you can pick up where you left off on the train on the way to work.

The Motorola ATRIX 4G

For the times when you’re using the phone without a dock you’re unlikely to be too disappointed thanks to a qHD (960 x 540) 4-inch display with 24-bit color graphics. Other specs include up to 48 GB of storage (16 GB built-in and up to 32 GB via MicroSD card), 2.4 GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, VGA front and 5-megapixel rear facing camera with LED flash, built-in fingerprint scanner, and 1930 mAh battery to provide up to nine hours of talk time and up to 10.4 days on standby. There’s also support for AT&T’s Mobile Hotspot service for connecting up to five additional Wi-Fi enabled devices.

The Motorola ATRIX 4G measures 2.5 x 4.6 x 0.4 inches (6.35 x 11.6 x 1 cm) and weighs 4.8 oz (136 g). In the U.S. it will be available exclusively through AT&T in Q1 2011.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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8 Comments

OMG, this and nexus s really set the standards. Nexus has NFC and gingerbread, Atrix has tegra, fingerprint(very useful), 1930mah battery, 1gb RAM and laptop docking. However, Bluetooth 3.0 and physical keyboard are not up in the standard yet.

Akemai Olivia
10th January, 2011 @ 06:13 am PST

This "phone" sounds great .... until they mentioned that it is only available from AT&T.

phydeaux
10th January, 2011 @ 07:27 am PST

On first blush, this sounds like a great idea. So, why can't you use it in dual-screen mode? Oh, because the phone screen is hidden behind the large screen. Doh...

J.D. Ray
10th January, 2011 @ 01:13 pm PST

Looks fabulous.

Masud Isa
11th January, 2011 @ 01:34 am PST

and the point is? Nice power but why make it a docking station? Basically that is all you are adding -- take a tablet and add the phone and print ability.... now we are talking

Antoinette Kunda
13th January, 2011 @ 04:43 pm PST

Can you say "gimmicky"? I knew you could.

Admittedly, I'm not sure what all can be done under Android, but lets call a spade a spade. That's not a "pc in your pocket". At the end of the day, it's the equivalent an iPhone that docks to become an iOSBook. Pathetic.

My guess is it is really intended to be a platform for customization. It 'could' be a PC in your pocket, once you install some form of Linux on it or something.

Jeff Sell
14th January, 2011 @ 03:29 pm PST

@Jeff Sell

You do realize that Android is based on Linux, right... You can use a terminal on a Droid and do same BASH things that you might want to do on Linux... You can customize it as much as you want once you root it, or if you get a developers phone. It is a PC in you pocket. end of story. It is more powerful than most PC's that were sold before 2006.

Gabriel Jones
11th March, 2011 @ 07:18 am PST

i have had this phone for over a year. Have the lapdock, the entertainment dock and all the accessories too. got eveyrhtin for under $300! (phone-99, entertainment dock-75, bluetooth keyboard n mouse included in entertainment center, lapdock-50)

apart from the pricey data plan that atnt forces on you, this phone and lapdock have traveled with me everywhere! no regrets at all! definetly reccomend it!

Malikasanya
4th May, 2012 @ 11:59 am PDT
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