I was perturbed recently to learn that I'd been left off the first batch of Motorola Atrix 4G review units. To my peers: please send your demo units back so I can take a crack!
For now, I'll settle for and share with readers some YouTube hands-on demos from the likes of Chris Fleck, vice president of community and solutions development at Citrix.
Quick background: the Atrix 4G, which goes on sale March 6, is an Android 2.2 handset powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor with a 4-inch quarter high-definition (qHD) screen.
But the key draw may be the Motorola HD Dock and Laptop Dock that allow users to port their Atrix 4G content to a larger screen.
Fleck in his three demo videos shows how users can access a virtual desktop or apps and make phone calls at the same time, run Firefox locally and save files to a USB key.
Calling it the NirvanaPhone, Fleck plugs the Atrix 4G into the HD Dock and launches a Linux-based Webtop app to flash his phone's content on a Windows 7 computer screen. Resolution is 1280 wide, 1024 high:
The cool part for me is the mobile view that shows the Atrix 4G's apps, which can be controlled from the keyboard and mouse once a user has plunked the phone into the HD Dock.
He also shows how to log on to a Citrix Web interface page, run XenApp and Firefox simultaneously and copy and paste, save data to the Atrix or a USB key.
Fleck picks a contact and makes a call from the Atrix 4G, which is plugged into the HD Dock, all while working on his Citrix Receiver virtual desktop app. His call switches over to Fleck's Bluetooth headset without dropping.
He then receives a call and doesn't drop his virtual desktop session, running in Citrix's Xen App virtual data center. Neat!
Finally, Fleck shows off a cool video of how a user can swap out an Atrix 4G from an HD dock to a Motorola Laptop Dock, which includes a full keyboard and display, without losing his Citrix Receiver virtual desktop session:
So what do we learn from these demos? The Atrix 4G is like a mini laptop on its own, allowing corporate road warriors to flit from guest machine to guest machine using Citrix virtual desktop software and the Motorola HD Dock and Laptop Dock.
Does that make it worth $499 for the Laptop Dock and Atrix 4G together, or $189.99 for the HD Dock on top of the $199.99 for the Atrix 4G?
For Average Joe Consumer, no, but for a frequently traveling sales person who needs to port presentations from here to there, these solution combo could be very valuable.