Motorola ATRIX 4G Impresses

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Although surrounded by giants like the HTC EVO 4G and Motorola Xoom tablet, the Motorola ATRIX 4G made waves at the 2011 CES in Sin City.

The Quasi-Netbook

The ATRIX is the link between a smartphone and a laptop.  Its dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, 4” touchscreen, 960×540 display, and—the ace up Motorola’s sleeve—a laptop dock converts the phone into what Unplgged called “a powerful, quasi-netbook of sorts.”

While appearing at first only like a laptop with an ATRIX dock, a closer inspection shows that the Android 2.2 smartphone is powering the arrangement.  Rather than squinting eyes and cramming fingertips onto a palm-sized screen, the ATRIX allows for a full-sized keyboard and monitor with its customized version of Flash-friendly Firefox 3.6.  (The Dell keyboard is admittedly a little unsightly for such a chic setup, but a more attractive wireless ATRIX keyboard is rumored to be available in the future.)

When docked, the ATRIX goes over to a Linux OS that allows you to browse Firefox and enjoy a file manager and Android App launcher.  Admittedly, increased size of the setup is misleading—it certainly won’t allow for heavy-duty CPU usage (in other words, no Adobe programs).  Still, if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re better off with a full-blown laptop, anyway.

As a handheld device, the ATRIX purportedly promises comfort and speedy browsing owing to the Tegra.  Its dual core, however, may pose problems for power supply and the life of its 1930 mAH Battery.

No Need for Tablets?

What the ATRIX really shows is Motorola’s forethought and consideration for customers.  Few people need a smartphone and a tablet (especially since most smartphones these days are the size of dwarf tablets).  What the ATRIX does is provide a smartphone and an extension that’s as powerful as a tablet—a virtual one-two punch.  Whether current tablet fans will revert to such a smartphone-slash-netbook device is uncertain, but future consumers will likely consider the ATRIX before going the Android tablet route.

Price has yet to be determined, but the ATRIX is set to show up at AT&T later this year.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Meet Vishal Gaikar, the tech wizard hailing from Pune, India, who's on a mission to decode the digital universe one blog post at a time. When he's not tinkering with gadgets or diving deep into the digital realm, you can find him concocting the perfect cup of chai or plotting his next adventure. Follow his tech escapades on Twitter and buckle up for a wild ride through the world of innovation and geekery!

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