Casetop Kickstarter project turns your phone into a laptop

May 3, 2013
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phone into a laptop

If you want to turn your phone into a laptop, this Kickstarter project just might make your dream come true,provided it gets funded, of course.

Livi Design has the ambitious goal of turning almost every phone into a laptop, as the only requirements are that said smartphone has a video out option and Bluetooth. There is a list of supported devices on the project’s site, and it must be said that it’s a pretty large one (the developers claim that they’re supporting over 200 Android phones).

What is the Casetop?

Casetop is a device that fits your phone and includes an 11.1-inch screen with a 720p resolution (but planning to get to 1080p), with a full-size keyboard, two speakers and, very importantly, a 56Wh battery pack.The developers claim you’ll get 10 hours of battery use from it.

Once your phone is in the Casetop, you can use the combination just like you would use a laptop or a Padfone, and you can remove the phone at all times. The Casetop is compatible with a Bluetooth mouse, for easier control. The design is one that looks pretty good, and the case itself is quite thin (0.8 inches thick). A more thorough introduction to the Caseto is available in the video below.

The full list of specs looks as follows:

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  • 11.1-inch 720p HD LED Backlit LCD Screen (Stretch Goal for 1080p)
  • 56 Watt Hour Battery Pack (Est. Equivalent of a 6 Cell Laptop pack)
  • Full size 78-key keyboard (Island-style, think Sony, Apple, IBM)
  • 2x 1 Watt High Fidelity Speakers
  • 1x Standard HDMI Input
  • 1x MHL Video Input, Power Output. Dual mode Micro USB.
  • 1x 3.5mm Audio Output
  • 1x Full-size ‘Always Powered’ USB for charging other products

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The case fits the screen, and also a board from a Chinese factory, from which only the HDMI and 3.5 mm ports are being used (according to the developers). The plan is to design another board, together with a Taiwan designer. The developers are doing their best to make the product as easy to repair and mod as it will be to use (we’ll have to see if they actually succeed in doing that).

As far as delivery dates go, the Kickstarter page, which plans to achieve its $300,000 goal by June 2nd, lists an estimated delivery date of December 2013. Said amount will ensure a production run of 1000 units, according to the developer.

There are seven levels of backing, from $3 or more $900 or more, but only pledging at least $220 will actually get you one white Casetop and two front bars. The different levels bring added benefits, culminating with the $900 or more one, which will get you, apart from an engraved Casetop model exclusively in black, a personal video thanks from the team, as well as credits on the website.

There were enough cases in which Kickstarter projects have turned into very interesting projects (like the Mini MicroSD Reader for Nexus 7 or the Pebble smartwatch, to name but a couple), and this one does have quite a bit of potential.

Do you find this idea useful? Do you plan on funding it?

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