best-kickstarter-july-superbook

Much hype has surrounded Andronium’s recent attempts at making a laptop dock q for Android smartphones. The idea was simple – this shell uses your smartphone’s power and Andronium OS to offer a computing experience that may be enough to replace a traditional laptop. The team took the concept to Kickstarter and now they have concluded the campaign with over 16,000 supporters and nearly $3 million in funding.

What comes next? Now we just need to wait for Andronium to deliver all its promises come January/February of 2017. These guys have a lot of computers to ship. And as you may know, even successful campaigns like this one can be a bit of a gamble.

There is a lot that goes into launching a new product, and sometimes even all that money isn’t enough to bring one to life. We have seen successful campaigns go down the drain in the past. These include the POP charger, which had to be canceled and backers were refunded.

Those who supported the Montrex Watch Project were less fortunate after the company decided to pull the plug and leave backers stranded. More recently, Skully had to shut its doors, leaving thousands of backers with no helmets and very possibly no money back (those helmets costed $1,500 each!). It’s a mess out there, and we aren’t even taking into account the endless amount of scammers out there, trying to make money out of tech enthusiasts with false promises.

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Now, we are not saying this will be the case for the Superbook, but we do believe Andronium will have to work very hard to deliver the $99 computer to all its backers. Sometimes manufacturing costs are higher than believed, as was the case with the Leviatr keyboard (another failed, and funded, Kickstarter campaign). But let’s take a look at what Andronium is promising here.

The campaign originally promised a laptop that took the power of your smartphone and turned it into a desktop-like experience. This laptop is to come with an 11.6-inch HD screen, over 8 hours of battery life, a nice multi-touch trackpad and support for both regular microUSB and USB type-C.

Superbook Demo from Andromium Inc. on Vimeo.

Then there are the stretch goals (all achieved): 

  • 150K: Major International Language Keyboard Decals FREE
  • 300K: Extra USB Port – Full Size Type A FREE
  • 500K: Bigger Battery – 8hr+ to 10hr+ FREE
  • 1M: 1080p Option ($30 added cost upgrade)
  • 1.5M: Customized Superbook Sleeves w/ Pockets for Smartphone FREE
  • 2M: Solid Color Skin for the Superbook FREE
  • 2.5M: Backlit Keys + 1080p option ($55 added cost upgrade)

After doing some math with numbers coming from the Kickstarter page, we figure they will have to ship nearly 18,000 computers. All by the beginning of next year. Is it possible? Well, they have almost $3 million to play around with and are hiring plenty of engineers to get the job done.

We say it is very likely, but building almost 18,000 computers does cost a lot, especially considering you paid somewhere around the $100 range per unit. The trick here is that there are very few expensive parts that come into making it. It has no processor, RAM, GPU, etc. The most expensive parts are probably the screen, keyboard and battery.

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In a nutshell, there is probably a lot of pressure on them and their goal was left in the dust, probably because the company wasn’t expecting this much demand. The goal was set at only $50,000. Let’s hope they are able to handle all the extra business they weren’t expecting.

How many of you signed backed the Superbook Kickstarter project?