AT&T: Atrix 4G Laptop Dock Priced High Because You Can Do More Than a Netbook


Looking for a solid reason from AT&T as to why their laptop dock for the upcoming Motorola Atrix 4G costs $499.99? Forbes reached out to AT&T and got them to offer up a very interesting byte: it’s because it can do more than a netbook, apparently.

“With all the integration between the phone and the dock, you can do more on an Atrix than you can on a netbook,” Woodward explained. “Other devices that try to do this just give you ‘mirror mode.'”

Woodward said that the dock was “not that expensive” compared to a tablet. I have yet to use the Atrix 4G + Laptop Dock combination myself, but for $499.99 after a two-year contract and a WiFi hotspot service agreement, I’d hope that it’s comparable to a netbook in more aspects than the hardware it’s powered by.

We all knew AT&T wouldn’t shy away from the price, but do you agree with their reasoning? Are they justified in how they’ve decided to price the Atrix 4G’s accompanying accessories? [Electronista]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Did he really say that will a straight face?

  2. Oh and lets not forget the $20 a month extra fee they charge you to use your phone’s internet conenction with the Laptop dock. Absurd!

  3. They are nuts if they think that I am willing to pay that much for a dock.

    No way no how.

  4. if i could get final draft screen writing software on android, and the dock wasn’t nearly as expensive, i would get it and replace both my phone and laptop…but with the dock 500 and the phone 500 (off contract which is how i would have to get it as i’m on tmoble) it’s a little pricey for a laptop…

  5. No kidding! That’s just a freaking shell, cannot justify for $499. For $499, I can get a good laptop, not netbook. With $499 for the shell, it will go nowhere, only dumbass will buy it.

  6. Nope, I don’t agree.
    Does It run Photoshop? GIMP?, Ekiga? full on Skype? Eclipse? Android SDK?
    The dock is a empty shell with a display and docking port. EVERYTHING is run from the phone itself. They said so themselves.
    Essentially, they are charging you for an LCD/Keyboard and recharging you for functionality that is already on the phone you already paid for………..

  7. Oh and here I was thinking it did less than a netbook. Silly me…

    FYI my whole full sized full power laptop was $400 with free WiFi and that was last year.

  8. LOL it is not a netbook/tablet/laptop/computer, it is an ACCESSORY. It is USELESS if you do not have the phone (which costs $200-600). It probably costs $50 to make. And the fact that they charge for tethering WITH TIERED DATA IS RIDICULOUS because IT IS NOT A COMPUTER. This is raping the consumer.

  9. Five hundred for a screen, battery and keyboard… Well, they say that there is one born every minute… No thanks!

  10. If this was not merely a shell then yeah, it might be worth the money. However, as others have stated you need to phone to use this dock. ATT is basically punishing those who wish to buy it off-contract and that’s certainly not a way to endear current customers or bring in potential customers.

  11. hence why im on the fuck the phone and idea as a whole boat

  12. No one will ever buy the dock unless it’s a lot cheaper than a netbook. It’s the size of a netbook, isn’t better than a netbook for anything (unlike a tablet) and requires a phone. So why would anyone ever buy one if it’s more expensive than a netbook!

  13. @msgnyc
    Exactly what I was about to put. It’s not more functional than a netbook, you could potentially argue that WITH the phone it’s more functional than a netbook, but on its own it certainly isn’t especially when you have to pay for the phone as well. It’s barely more than plugging in an external monitor, keyboard and mouse (barely because it’s portable) all which can be had for far less than 400.

  14. Product is ONLY for the new Motorola phone, atrix or something, as a dock. Only an accessory for this upcoming motorola phone.

  15. The laptop dock should be $150 max. $499 is too much even for the whole kit including the unlocked phone with both docks.

  16. everyone on phandroid must be broke as a joke

  17. What is he smoking? Cuz I want some if it has me believing shit like that…..
    Forget a netbook, what about a similar priced laptop? Yea…I want some of what he’s smoking.

  18. who is dumb enough to buy this dock? tell me because i wanna slap them. ATT is being ridiculous. They will barely get any buyers for this device, so Ill wait until they bump down the price to say… 150, 200 max.. thats about how much it should cost.

  19. My netbook was less than that and my 17″ laptop with a Blue-ray drive, 6GB of memory, i5, wi-fi and wimax (if I ever choose to use it)cost just $200 more at the time I bought it. $500 for something that still requires me to get a phone? Nope.

  20. well being priced 200-300 above a netbook + cost of phone it should be better then a netbook, since its entering mid-range laptop price. Unfortunately it seems they are comparing them to the netbooks that are on their way out as well…since netbooks are soon to have dual cores and slightly upgraded graphics themselves and just the general increased functionality that an x86+Windows gives a user.

    And your still carrying two devices – its not like your getting rid of baggage…so for the price why not have 2 functional devices instead of 1?

  21. Wow…Just WOW! I couldn’t decide whether to laugh really hard at this or to cry. I am sure the phone will still sell well, but I can’t wait to see the dismal sales numbers on the dock. The only people that will be buying it are people with too much money to burn. Shopping around you can get a decent full fledged notebook for $499.

  22. Haha you Atrix people don’t need to worry. People won’t buy the sock for 500, give it 3-6 months nd you’ll be able to get it for 200-300.

  23. Apparently this clown thinks he’s Steve Jobs and can say whatever the hell he wants and will get away with it. . . . he’s working for the wrong company.

  24. This means that there is a spot open in the market for a product that actually would be usful. A dock that does nothing more then enlarge the screen and keyboard of your device… price point is whats on the masses mind right now and thats what device manufacturers should be keeping in mind.

  25. This is not worth $200. Seems carriers enjoy shooting themselves in the foot. Corporate sabotage? Is Apple really calling the shots? ;)

  26. I think this is more directed towards people who use a laptop device for light surfing and such. I can’t see it being a complete replacement for something like a desktop (where I do my gaming and heavy duty stuff). $500 for a phone/laptop on contract? I don’t think that’s too bad, considering “some” people would pay more for just a phone.

    For people that use the hulking 17″ Alienware types, this is NOT for you, lol.

    Me? If it were on Verizon, I’d probably give it a go and sell my MBP since I use it for surfing and note taking and the such….and have money left over. I’d also use the internet through wifi if the comment about charging extra to use the 3/4G data connection is true as well..

  27. Whatever AT&T………

  28. You phone is the slowest cpu (worst file transfer rate , …) in your house or office since it is completely made for battery life at the detriment of everthing else – why would anyone want this in any shape or form. Since you have a electric plug right there on your desk. You have your phone data on the cloud (gdocs, gmal, evernote, ..) so there is no need to physically hook up to your phone

  29. I won’t be buying the dock. I have been trying to decide if I will buy the phone itself. Knowing that it’s going to have a locked boot loader as well as only allowing apps from the app store, I am not sure I can justify buying this phone anymore.

  30. Dustin

    It isn’t $500 for the laptop/phone combo, it’s $500 just for the dock. The phone, which is needed, is extra. Do you honestly think the type of person you’re talking about would pay for that when they can get a netbook or notebook with wimax built-in for the same price? Or get a regular notebook/netbook and stick? About the only people I see getting this are gadget people with more money than brains.

  31. 21 is correct. this is bullshit. Make the phone $250 with dock but otherwise this is bs.

  32. @ Dustin Good to know I’m not the only one who thinks like that. Go ahead and slap me folks. Im getting the phone and the dock.

  33. At&t can go take a bath along with the Atrix dock. In 90 days the dock will be less than half the starting price. All these phone companies have gone completely nuts, with the popularity of android and all the bells and whistles they think the consumer is an absolute idiot. Every one should just NOT BUY THE DOCK!! and force those assholes to sell the dock for what it’s really worth, and that’s probably $50-$60.00. You have to ask yourself, “do I really need it? ” there’s techs at work as I write this working on a similar device. Trust me, it may be the first, but it sure won’t be the only. So don’t grease the shitheads pockets at at@t fuck em and feed em fruit loops.

  34. Seriously? That’s the justification for $300 to use Firefox and an Android emulator? Fuck off.

  35. DON’T BUY THE DOCK PEOPLE!! There’s devs right this second making the same thing on a different carrier. And it won’t be more than half your rent. (depending where you live if course)

  36. AT&T killed the Atrix with their overcharging – which is really a shame.

    My girlfriend was ready to drop her iPhone and jump over to the Atrix after watching the demo videos. I haven’t seen her that excited about tech in a long time (if ever).

    Then the price was announced.

  37. DAMN IT! Will someone please report on the Citrix Receiver that comes with this?!?! It is a virtual desktop. And the combo price is fine. It’s buying separately that sucks.

    But more on the Citrix Receiver. This is what it does:

    “On-demand application delivery on any device

    The proliferation of devices entering the workplace creates new requirements for the enterprise. Employees want fast, simple and on-demand access to corporate resources from any device that they choose—whether a PC, Mac , laptop, netbook, tablet or smartphone. IT however needs a secure and scalable infrastructure that can manage the variety of user devices. Citrix Receiver gives users and IT exactly what they need with a high-performance, universal client technology that enables delivery of virtual desktops, Windows applications and IT and business services as an on-demand service to any user on any device.”

  38. No way is this worth it. Why would I pay $500 for something that will most likely be useless the next time I upgrade my phone? There is a better chance I will still be able to use my netbook in 18 months to two years than I would this thing.

  39. My contract has been up since September and I have been in “wait and see” mode until the specs on the atrix came out and I thought this is the phone thats worth signing another 2-year contract for. Then the pricing came out. I can stick with my old 3g for a little longer i think. :(

  40. First an overpriced XOOM now an overpriced dock. WTF Motorola?!

  41. Was totally sold on it until the bundled price came out – what a joke! Now, it’s time for me to go look at the HTC Thunderbolt and a reasonably priced companion tablet and moving to Verizon. There were several of us ready to pre-order this coming Sunday, but all plans are being put on hold for now.

  42. Enough said. AT&T is out. We should all ride the Verizon & Sprint wave. ATT is to stupid to continue in the mobile market.


  44. If it had a Apple logo a bunch of morrons would buy it though.

  45. “it’s like a tablet” without a processor, GPU, or anything that is part of the phone.

  46. It does more than a netbook?!…..its connected to a damn laptop, which does more than a netbook……

  47. This dock looked appealing, but no more. Unless it comes to the Bionic and for a lot lower price, it won’t be on my shopping list. Its always disappointing when great technology gets hindered with an astronomical price tag.

  48. The dock is a novelty. Will soon be in the bargin bin for $150. It wont take long for customers to figure out its just a keyboard and bigger screen for the phone. There isnt even a decent word procoessor for android.

  49. Well, we knew AT&T would find a way to cripple and destroy an otherwise powerhouse of a phone. I wonder what else they are planning to make sure that the best Android device crafted so far this year, pales in comparison to the Igodphone from crapple? Let me guess…even though some apps may be free on Android Market, AT&T will now charge you $0.50 cents to download them.

  50. lmao. I just don’t understand why ATT has to screw up every aspect of Android. This is the msrp of just the dock, no laptop included? Fail.

  51. dam at&t, what are yall tryn to do, are yall tryn to get rid of costumers and prevent future customers, and then bam, do sumthing really amazing, then have a whopper of a activation fee, to join yalls service, like fareal, yall are bout to loose more money and business this way, but im not goin anywhere, cuz i want the phone, wasnt all that into the accessories anyway

  52. What I don’t get is why you need another data plan when you should be able to use the phone’s network connection to access the internet? Because all this is, is a monitor and keyboard connected to a phone.

  53. I love the concept but only rich person or an idiot would pay $500 for a shell on top excessive monthly charges,

  54. At&t is a greedy greedy business,that is soon to be all washed up and ‘has been’ after the departure of apple’s exclusivity deal. They no longer have the leverage they once had, and are frantically trying to cling to anything to maintain their former level of revenue generated by a mass of i*one fanboys/girls.Now,with a mass exodus of grateful apple users, sure to come, they are likely trying to find a device that will snag new users,and keep the old ones just as the i*one once did.With apple they successfully positioned themselves as a leech,feeding off the unfortunate success of a company whose greed and big business tactics surpassed their own.They had their time during the wired days but at&t over extended their capabilities as a phone service provider by attempting to undertake wireless.They failed at it miserably and couldn’t even handle the capacity of one,just one, popular phone brand.I assume apple chose At&t not because of their ‘superior and expansive network’ as The autocrat Steve Jobs once said,but because they were the only company willing to take it up the rear and submit to apple’s outlandish and absurd business stipulations at the time. Now at&t will attempt to cling to the coat-tails of android like a drowning rat!They will try to take advantage of the hype created by ATRIX in anyway, by price jacking a device they think may replace apple’s allure to user’s . It may be possible that the price is simply a sales tactic. People associate a high cost, with high quality. It doesn’t matter what the device is or its capabilities, it could have been a literal hunk of dog Shite but they assume if they slap a 500.00 price tag on it, it will sell like hotcakes. At&t is an opportunist without moral constraints and will do whatever it takes to make an extra buck. I would never buy anything from that company as a result, even if it were manna from heaven or the elixir of life.

  55. I think 40 nailed it. With an Apple logo it would be a hit.

    The price isn’t competitive enough with a netbook. $300 for a screen, a battery, a keyboard, and a mouse is absurd in the highest. Netbook makers are including a processor, hard drive, and a real OS license at that price level.

  56. Lol! And this is what AT&T is gonna replace the iPhone with as their flagship phone??? $500 for this???? Ha ha ha ha!!!! I know they’re pissed off bcuz they lost the iPhone exclusive but SERIOUSLY????

  57. who is really going 2 buy a 500 dollar dock 4 a motorola

  58. To those to ask why you would buy this Atrix dock instead of a netbook? So you have exactly 1 device to maintain. All the data is in one place. When you want a bigger screen/keyboard for more serious e-mailing, etc – then you plug into the dock. This is exactly the product I’ve been wanting.

    Now the price…that’s another matter. $500 +contract is absurd. Get the price down around $250 (no additional fees) and I’d be thinking hard about trading in my droid.

  59. yeah, well that just made my decision not to go with this phone, even though it is my MOST WANTED phone of all time. : ( i hate ATT.

  60. Here is my problem: right now i can go and buy a Alienware M11x(portable gaming laptop) for about $500 and then get any phone free from T-mobile(or is that offer gone now?) for technically less than the atrix 4g and its dock. I just don’t see the cost.

  61. I think the price is extremely bloated. You can by a notebook and then use the phone as your mobile hotspot and that will accomplish the same mission as this non functioning dock. As for the clown that said everybody on phandroid must be broke. Your way of thinking is extremely warped. Nobody should want to overpay for a product no matter how wealthy you are. People like you either don’t have wealth, and if you are wealthy or well off, you won’t be for long with the superficial attitude you’re walking around with.

  62. Ha ha!
    I have a netbook that runs all the desktop applications I care about. It cost me under $400 almost two years ago!

  63. Really? I haven’t seen many cheap devices debut on Verizon either. Atrix will kill the iphone for the same price.. im not buying the dock either, but that doesnt meant the phone isn’t badass. If you shmucks grab the iphone 4 at the same price you’re outdated already. Not to mention the fact that the bionic, droid etc are all already behind this phone. Screw the dock agreed… not the phone. And if you are buying phones off contract you can afford the dock anyway b/c who really pays full retail for a phone???? Ppl who can afford it!

  64. its an accessory to the phone it should not cost 500.00 dollars.

    would you pay 40 dollars for a screen protecter.

  65. Wow. I hope Redfly gets off their rears and finishes up a driver for Android. This $500 dock is essentially the same thing as a Redfly, only with the Redfly you can connect it over bluetooth, don’t have to pay extra every month, and it will work with all of your Android phones. You can also find Redfly’s for $100 pretty easily.

    For you folks talking about “this is perfect, I only have to maintain one device” what are you talking about exactly? You’ll still have to carry around two pieces of hardware. Instead of having two fully functional (and complimentary devices) you have one useful and another overpriced hunk of junk.

  66. I’d say $99 would be a good price for this shell. I would buy it then.

  67. No one will buy this.

  68. Maybe I am missing something with this? PDA Net and Wireless tether are FREE apps! Pretty sure I’ll stick to those and save $500 and $20/mo.

  69. Go ahead and dial up those digits–no matter which wireless network you’re calling.  AT&T* today announced customers can enjoy unlimited mobile calling to any mobile number in America.  Unlimited Mobile to Any Mobile is available to AT&T customers with an unlimited messaging plan and a qualifying voice plan**. 

  70. Not only will I NOT buy this, I won’t even pay them $20 for tethering.
    I can tether my AT&T phone to my existing netbook just fine thank you — without rooting.

  71. This is gay. Just buy a netbook people. Why the fuck would you want to have to hook up your phone to your laptop. This is just a stupid idea all around.

  72. I just wish there was an email for the ATT rep that made that statement. I’d really love to ask him what he’s smoking.

    The Atrix is the hottest phone out…and that’s likely to last right up to the 17th of this month at the latest, when Samsung and, probably, HTC release their dual core phones at MWC. The dual core hummingbird processor will likely score as high if not higher in testing than the Tegra2 on a phone with a super AMOLED screen. The HTC dual core will likely match it, if not better it…AND will come with the advantage of an unlocked boot loader.

    What the Atrix had going for it was a unique idea in this laptop dock…and a head start by a couple of months with release time. What they have now is a phone that will lose its uniqueness in a week or so and a dock that is ridiculously priced, which is the only thing that really made it unique, and that will only sell to the “must have the new thing no matter what the price” and fanboy crowd…which isn’t going to be many units.

    Basically, Motorola and ATT had the golden goose and instead of reaping the golden eggs every day, they decided they’d rather cut it’s head off and pluck the down for a pillow rather than wait for more eggs.

    Yes…the phone is quite excellent by itself. But when it’s no longer unique, why buy it when you can get something with nearly the same if not better processing and a boot loader that will allow you to get rid of the crap overlay and upgrade as soon as new Android updates come out?

  73. Oh…and for those who’s math is weak, if you have the $15 data plan now, and you get the dock…it’s not just the $300 in addition to the price of the phone you’ll be paying…it’s $720 in additional tethering and data fees over the life of the contract. If you have the data pro plan, it’s $480.

    So now you’re talking about a $780-1080 screen, keyboard and battery that does absolutely nothing without the phone inserted in it.

  74. Makes me sad to see this $499 with phone not to bad , but without phone , YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING !!!!!!!!!!
    What a way to kill a technology that would flourish if priced to compete .
    It is just a freaking dock for God sakes , $199 is more than enough for it .

  75. Poised to take over the market, how do you spoil it? Get greedy! Yay greed!

  76. It works for me I don’t have a laptop or a pc and the only thing I would use them for anyways is to surf the Internet. With my I phone soon to be 2 yrs old it’s time for me to upgrade so the atrix with the laptop dock will work for me, besides I wouldnt touch a windows o.s. for free and for a 13″ MacBook pro were talking $1500 with applecare. Not to say I do think the laptop dock is a little overpriced, but it sounds like most of the people on here already have a pc or laptop so don’t skip on a BADASS phone when you don’t even need the laptop dock anyways.

  77. Who ever interviewed him should have asked the what can it do better than a netbook ??

  78. Chill out guys!! You are letting all this phone stuff get to your head!
    So anyways, I Pre-Ordered my Atrix 1st day, and att rep told me that it was only $99 for me bc I was eligible for $100 discount. He said it doesn’t apply to apple products and that was why i could never use it before (which made me ALL THE more happy to leave apple!!) He also asked if I wanted to get the dock bundle, and that it would cost $399, but for me $299 bc of my discount. Now to me that sounds like a pretty sweet deal. It’s possible he got the prices wrong, but I really doubt it bc he was ready to sell it at that price. In the end though, I just went with the phone bc I simply didn’t have the extra $$, and I really didn’t want to lose my unlimited data I have held on to in exchange for the tiered data.

  79. I can install Windows or Linux on my netbook. When I can do that with the Atrix dock, I will buy it.

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