Living with the Atrix

The WebTop User Interface

This is going to be a relatively short post; practically just an update on how things are going with the new phone. The Atrix is a fantastic phone and has proven very powerful and capable of handling everything I’ve thrown at it so far. I’m typing this post on the lapdock whilst lying in bed. I’m also texting people, and using the phone from within WebTop at the same time. This really does feel the closest I’ve ever been to the continuous workflow concept of being able to carry what you’re doing from device to device as you need it. Walk to the train, whilst navigating and texting on the phone. Sit down and dock your phone, and use the lapdock to type up minutes from a meeting. Get to wherever you’re going, and dock the phone into a cradle connected to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse and it becomes your desktop. All the data is the same, your work is preserved from dock to dock.

Whilst the Atrix docking system seems to be a step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go yet. Yes the specification of the phone is pretty beefy, but remember, that’s good for a phone. It’s sill second-rate for a computer, and whilst it is perfectly competent, the speeds when docked feel more akin to the Intel Atom based netbooks. There is nothing wrong with netbooks…actually I’m telling a lie. There are many things wrong with netbooks, but they do the basic things right at a tolerable speed, but after using a moderately powerful laptop for a few years now I could never bring myself to go back down that road. Even as I’m typing this, any time I need to backspace I get terrible lag which becomes unbearable after a while. They have made it faster with the android 2.3.4 update, but it’s still a tad sluggish. Perfectly fine for low volume web-browsing, but once you’re accustomed to power using your browser, it just won’t cut it.

Everything is still doable though, and I just use Google Drive to edit and create documents, and all the other online utilities at my disposal. Now, take a phone like the HTC One X, or the Samsung Galaxy S3 and I can see the potential. Quad-core processors around the 1.5Ghz mark are really heading towards the power needed to run a decent laptop, and ultimately desktop, and that’s just the beginning. Around this time last year, the Motorola Atrix was the most powerful smartphone on the market by a good margin, and only a year later the number of processor cores has doubled! I’d say we’re not as far as the one device for all concept as you might first think…

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One response to “Living with the Atrix

  1. I can definitely see the real benefit, should this ever take off. This last year I’ve been working off two computers (one of which was a laptop), due to my travelling about — and maintaining source code, documents etc between the two has been some work!

    Bring on the revolution, I say!

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