Pop Motorola's new Atrix 4G smartphone into its laptop-shell docking station, and like a lifeless corpse jolted with lightning, the laptop comes to life, giving you Motorola's Webtop. It's a desktop experience, powered by Android, including a file browser, HD media playback, and a full install of Firefox 4. All powered by the phone.
It's pretty amazing, actually:
As you can see in this walkthrough, the interface is fairly snappy. This is made possible by the phone's dual-core Tegra processor and a fairly crazy 1GB of onboard RAM.
Here we're seeing the phone driving a 24" monitor via the HDMI desktop dock. If you pop it out of that dock and into the laptop shell, the phone remembers all your window placements and settings and resumes just as you last left it.
Through the USB slots on both the laptop and the desktop docks, you can plug in a hard disk or a thumb drive and access it via the file browser. Or start up the media player where any video or audio files are recognized and pulled in for playback (the phone's screen shows a remote control interface when docked).
All that in a package that's surprisingly svelte as a phone (I was expecting a monster):
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.