Turning your smartphone into a laptop isn’t a new concept. Motorola’s Atrix Lapdock or the Asus PadFone all attempted to show that a smartphone can provide all the computing power you may need. In theory, it’s a brilliant idea, but for one reason or another, it was never a commercial success.
Now, the team behind Andromium OS, an Android-for-desktop project, might just buck this trend with the Superbook.
The Superbook is essentially a $99 empty laptop shell that turns into an Android-powered machine when connected to your Android smartphone via a micro-USB cable or the new USB Type-C reversible cable.
Software requirements for this transformation seem minimal. First, your device must be running on Android 5.0 or later, and once you download the Andromium OS app from the Play Store, all you need to do is connect your device to the Superbook. And voila, your device now has a large screen and an OS that resembles that of a desktop.
With an 11.6” 1366×768 display, a multi-touch trackpad, and a beautifully-designed body, the Superbook can last 8+ hours, according to the official specs, and can even charge your smartphone while connected. Andromium supports millions of Play Store apps as well as Superbook-specific apps, all packed in its rich mouse and keyboard-friendly UI.
Perhaps what differentiates the Superbook from past endeavors from other manufacturers is its compatibility. The Superbook transforms essentially any Android smartphone running 5.0 or higher into a laptop. The price tag? Only $99. While the Superbook is not yet available commercially, it is soon to be launched on Kickstarter. Those who are eager to get their hands on the Superbook can sign up on the official website to get early access.
As with any Kickstarter project, we’ll withhold our final judgement of the Superbook until the device actually ships to end users. In fact, this isn’t the first time Andromium is attempting to crowdfund the concept – its original, $35 dock project failed to reach the $100,000 threshold required to become a real product.
That said, this is a very interesting project – do you think Superbook can work?