A Tablet or Smartphone Could Power Your Next Laptop – Best review and report

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When you get a load of the new NexDock, you may feel like it’s 2011 all over again. Similar to the old Motorola Atrix 4G, this new laptop uses a smartphone as its brain. The company is trying to get off the ground via an Indiegogo campaign.

nexdock

The NexDock includes a 10,000-mAh battery, keyboard and a 14-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel display for $149 (though early backers can get it as low as $99 as of this writing), which is cheaper than most laptops. When you plug in a Windows 10 smartphone into its mini HDMI port, you can use Microsoft’s Windows Continuum feature to use your tablet or phone as a full-fledged laptop.

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Continuum allows all Windows 10 devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to expand onto larger monitors. This Microsoft operating system feature allows Windows apps to resize gracefully, based on what the OS recognizes as the largest screen size available. Essentially it makes the monitor and phone or tablet into dual monitors, where screens and data can be moved back and forth. 

As PCWorld points out, the choice of mini HDMI is curious when more and more phones use USB Type-C, which supports video output. NexDock has plans for future USB-C devices, but they aren’t part of the current Indiegogo campaign.

In addition to running off of Windows 10 smartphones and tablets, NexDock also claims their shell can connect to mini PCs, as well as Android and iOS devices. Of course, without Windows 10, you will only have one screen. The Motorola Atrix 4G combined a specific Android smartphone with an 11.6-inch dock for $299, so the NexDock has more versatility and value right out of the gate. 

As of this writing, the NexDock is at 10 percent of its goal, with one month left to go in its campaign. The Early Bird package is already sold out. The company claims supporters will receive their docks by June 2016. Will you be throwing your money in the ring? 

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Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
Andrew E. Freedman,
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