There have been several attempts to make lapdocks and laptop shells over the years, with varying degrees of success. Now, the team behind 2016’s NexDock is back with a sequel on Kickstarter, dubbed the NexDock 2 (h/t: SlashGear).
Much like other laptop shells, the NexDock 2 offers a display, keyboard, trackpad, battery, and several ports. But it improves upon the original design by offering a full HD IPS display, a full-sized HDMI port, a USB port, and several USB-C ports (including one for charging). The first NexDock, on the other hand, delivered a 768p TN panel, a mini-HDMI port, and full-sized USB ports only.
Otherwise, the fundamental proposition here is still the same, allowing you to plug in a compatible smartphone to gain a laptop-like experience (while charging your phone). We say a “compatible” phone because the NexDock 2 only works with Samsung and Huawei phones that offer a desktop mode (DeX and Easy Projection respectively). However, the NexDock team notes that Android Q phones will likely be compatible in the future, citing a rough desktop mode in the developer preview.
Don’t care for a smartphone-powered desktop experience? Well, the HDMI port means you can also use this as a secondary screen for your computer, a display for your gaming console, or a screen for your Raspberry Pi or computer stick.
The NexDock 2 has already shot past its $50,000 goal on Kickstarter, with Early Bird devices starting at $199. Otherwise, the standard price is $279. The device is scheduled to ship from September 2019, so you’ve still got a few months to wait before getting your hands on one.
You can certainly buy an entry-level Chromebook for $279 and under, so the NexDock 2 isn’t the cheapest option if you want a laptop experience on a budget. And with previous entries like the Sentio Superbook not achieving mainstream success, you have to wonder whether this new device will enjoy a better commercial reception.
If you’re keen, you can check out the Kickstarter page via the button below.