Motorola to Offer Multiple Webtop Lapdock Models in Future


Motorola had high aspirations for their webtop interface and accompanying laptop dock, but after many shunned the concept due to its high price the company is willing to rethink their strategy. Admitting that the current lapdock model works better for enterprise users than your everyday consumer, Moto CEO Sanjay Jha sys the future will hold multiple options at different price level. A budget-friendly model will be geared toward consumers while something more akin to the lapdock we already know will be available to business class users.

Motorola’s second webtop device, the Photon 4G, launched only recently. The only other model on the market compatible with Motorola’s phone/desktop interface is the Atrix 4G. Plans are for the upcoming Droid Bionic to feature into the service, showing Motorola’s dedication to the so-far novelty act. So the question is: for the right price, would you be more likely to adopt webtop as a computing platform?

[via Android and Me]

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  1. This is one of the few manufacturer-driven android innovations that seems really useful. Hope they can find a price point that makes it cheaper than getting a netbook (which it should be since it doesn’t have its own processor).

  2. i’d be most interested in having something similar to what Asus is doing with their padfone concept, but a cheap lapdock would be pretty nice to have.

  3. Yes

  4. I have an Atrix and have used the webtop “app”, though not with the lapdock. It is usable, but no where near as fast as my desktop computer. And it’s just a little too slow for Hulu streaming (it works, but was a little too choppy last time I checked). It works just fine for emailing and web browsing though. I’ve actually docked my phone and launched webtop once or twice when I wanted to use a real keyboard to write a longer email but didn’t want to wait for my computer to boot. The “boot” time for webtop is quite good.

    Now, give me a compatible tablet dock for a reasonable price (not $500) and I would be willing to pony up the cash. I wouldn’t expect to use the webtop much on a tablet though…

    1. Not as fast as your desktop… Well fracking duh! It’s a phone.

      1. Except this “phone” has a dual-core 1 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. That’s more processor/RAM than a lot of netbooks and even old laptops (my first laptop running Windows XP had a 650 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM).
        I think it could be very useable for everything but heavy computer.

  5. If they could run Ice Cream Sandwich on it and run the native tablet UI when docked instead of their half-arsed attempt at Mac OS X then it might actually catch on.

    1. What are you talking about? Webtop is not “their half-arsed attempt at Mac OS X”. It’s Ubuntu.
      If you ask me, Motorola was very smart in using an existing desktop OS instead of trying to write one from scratch.
      Ubuntu is not OS X or Windows, that is true. But it is easy to use (my mother has used Ubuntu for a while) and has lots of potential (there are a ton of free apps we could use when the hackers perfect installing random Ubuntu apps under webtop).

  6. can any non moto devices use a lapdock, even if it’s a hack?

  7. Emphatically yes!

  8. Motorola could give me a lapdock for free but if AT&T requires me to pay for a tethering plan to use it then it is useless to me.

  9. I like the concept, but to be honest would rather go without any mobile device whatsoever than be forced to do business with AT&T. Not even if it included a date with Heidi Klum would doing business with that cess pool of a company be worth it.

  10. If it were able to actually compute – as opposed to just having a firefox web browser – I would be all over it. As it stands, it has zero functionality beyond what the phone itself can do. It doesn’t run a “Big Boy” OS like Linux, OS X or Windows – so I can’t get my Outlook, my Office or anything like Big Boy Apps.

    1. It is a big boy OS like Linux. It’s Ubuntu 8.04 (one of the most popular Linux distros). I believe some progress has been made enabling the package manager so you can install a lot of Linux apps (though some don’t work well).

  11. How about one that runs Chrome OS? Not lame Firefox…

    1. Just make it run Honeycomb/tablet mode when docked and the Android browser will be good enough. This way it won’t have to run 2 OS’s in the same time either, since it’s the same, just different UI.

      1. That works too

  12. I like the concept, but the fact that you have to have a tethering contract as well is a deal breaker for me. Why should I have to have two data contracts just to connect a keyboard and monitor?

  13. … and add a space for a 1,8″ SSD, please …

  14. I got a refurbished lapdock for $175 and an Atrix 4G for $0.01. That made the decision easy for me and I’m pretty happy with the combination. It’s not fast enough to use as an everyday computer, but for watching video and basic web surfing on the go it’s great. The fact that I had to get the 4GB data plan to use it was a put off at first, but then I got my first bill and realized I used just under 4GB anyways. Also concerning Hulu, I find that 360p video looks great on the lapdock with no stuttering

  15. Unless this is sub $100 I would rather just bring my XPS 17 around. I’m a man, I don’t care about carrying an extra few pounds.

  16. The concept is actually pretty cool and it could be useful; however, the performance of Webtop is pretty poor. Open more than 2-3 tabs in the browser and you’ve got to have some time on your hands. So, Google Docs, Email, and another browser window and you’ve tapped it’s resources.

    Also, many non-enterprise users are likely to have a bunch of other apps running on their phone, eating up the memory that Webtop needs to run well. The experience is much better on a ‘clean’ phone.

    The quality of the Laptop dock is quite good; feels sturdy and really thin and light.

    Also, as for the ability to add an SDD…. This type of computing is more about the cloud than it is about a PC.

    So, I like the idea, the execution is lacking…. Oh yeah, I’m typing this from a Samsung Chromebook :) A better solution in my opinion is a hotspot/tethering plan and a Chromebook or a small light netbook if you local computing power.


  17. Absolutely! I’m currently scouring ebay and kijiji to find a webdock for cheap (its damn hard, no one bought one it seems). If they keep improving the webtop OS (or just make it run big-screen android) it’ll help my phone creep more and more into my digital life, and who’s to complain about that?
    Also, Bell doesn’t require tethering to use your webdock. Either complain loudly to your previous-level network, or go to xda and shut up.

  18. Go jump in front of a bus.

  19. I still say that if the Atrix had launched on Verizon as a Droid branded device, the whole laptop deck thing would have a much bigger deal and more popular.

  20. I tested one recently soley to use the Citrix receiver and universal doc to in essence create a zero client or thin client device connecting to a back end virtual machine. I really like the concept of the office workstation being a univeral dock, monitor and keyboard. Come into the office with my webtop enabled phone, plug it in and access my Data Center virtual machine for my primary desktop.

  21. What if you would be able to put your phone on the place of the touchpad? That would be extremely cool and you save some money again on a touchpad.

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