Razer Project Linda Concept Uses Android Smartphone to Power Notebook

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Razer Project Linda Concept Uses Android Smartphone to Power Notebook

Razer over the last few years at CES has unveiled “concept” devices that it believes, could transform how users work with its computers. It did it again at CES 2018 with Razer Project Linda. Razer’s latest concept is a notebook that doesn’t have its own CPU, but it little more than a docking station for the smartphone that provides the computing power. The combination also allows for other important features, including dual-screen functionality and the ability to control Android apps with a keyboard and mouse. Since the notebook acts as a docking station, it can be used to charge the plugged-in Razer Phone. But already, some critics are questioning whether this device combination forces users into functional compromises they might not like. Read on to learn more about Razer’s Project Linda.

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Razer Says Project Linda Is the ‘Best of Both Worlds’

Razer’s Project Linda notebook is little more than a docking station that doesn’t have a processor or other critical components as all other notebooks have. However, it provides the functionality of a fully equipped notebook computer when users plug in an Android Razer Phone that powers the user experience.

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Notebook, Smartphone Combo Provide Dual-Screens

Project Linda is essentially a dual-screen device. The notebook’s 13.3-inch display supports multi-touch and can be used to control the smartphone’s software. Meanwhile, when the smartphone is docked into the notebook, it can act as the touchpad that many notebooks are equipped with. It can also be used as a secondary display for “custom interfaces or additional apps,” Razer said.

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Notebook Keyboard Includes Custom Keys

At first glance, the Project Linda notebook keyboard looks like any other. However, Razer has added custom keys to the device, such as a home button, a “switch apps” key and others that are designed to work with the Android user interface.

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A New Way to Interact with Android Apps

Although Android apps will run on Razer Phone powering the Project Linda notebook, users won’t need to rely on a touch screen to control those programs. Instead, Razer’s device allows users to employ a mouse and keyboard to control apps. The secondary, Razer Phone display can also be used to get quicker access to menus and other contextual information.

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Notebook Serves as a Smartphone Charging Station

The notebook side of Project Linda is a docking station that provides additional functionality. But Razer said it’s also designed to be used as a charging station, thanks to a built-in power bank. By plugging in the Razer Phone into the notebook, users can boost battery life quickly for when they’re mobile and away from the computer.

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Notebook Carries 200GB of Storage

The Project Linda notebook ships with 200GB of internal storage that can be accessed by Razer Phone and used to store apps, games, photos, video and other content. Razer also said it could be used to store phone data backups.

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Notebook Has Plenty of Ports

Project Linda’s notebook component is designed to extend the usability of the Razer Phone with several accessory ports, including a headphone jack, a USB-A port, and a USB-C charging port. There’s also a front-facing 720p webcam and a dual-array microphone.

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Snapdragon 835 Will Power the Device

Although Razer’s Project Linda is designed to act like a traditional notebook, it won’t be able to offer the kind of CPU power built into a typical notebook PC. Instead, it’ll be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 built into the Razer Phone. Although the Snapdragons processing power and 8GB of RAM are nothing to scoff at, the smartphone processing power could limit Project Linda’s user appeal.

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A Major Apps Question

Arguably one of the biggest questions critics are asking about Project Linda is whether apps will be built or upgraded to take advantage of the notebook’s features. Any Android app can technically work on Project Linda, but few will be optimized to take advantage of the device’s many features.

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Will Project Linda Go Into Mass Production?

Razer hasn’t said whether Project Linda will actually go on sales or whether it will remain just a concept device. And like so many other device makers exhibiting products at CES 2018, the company declined to disclose a retail price. But look for Razer to continue developing Project Linda and if potential buyers show sufficient interest, we might hear about it reaching the retail market.

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Hybrid Notebooks, Laptops, Tablets Headline Early CES 2018 Tech Intros

Dell, Samsung, HP got an early start on the CES 2018 product introductions by announcing new and updated hybrid notebooks and laptops, while HVAC specialist Johnson Controls showed off a Cortana-driven smart thermostat.