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CES 2018: Project Linda is a laptop dock for Razer Phone

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It has almost become a tradition for Razer to showcase some new prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) every year. At this year’s event, Razer has showcased what it calls Project Linda, which is a companion piece of hardware for its recently launched Razer Phone. Effectively, Project Linda is a dock for the smartphone, which extends it into a full fledged laptop.

While with Motorola Atrix and Samsung Dex, we have already seen the concept in the past, however, Razer gives a spin to it by not just using the phone as the brains of the hybrid laptop, but repurposing it as the trackpad. The phone slides into a cavity where you’d typically find a trackpad, replacing the need for one entirely.

Besides that, there are some more changes that accommodate the peculiarities of Razer Phone into the dock. There’s no power button, since the side-mounted power button/ fingerprint sensor on the Razer Phone serves in that role instead. Similarly, there are no speakers on the Project Linda hardware, since it uses Razer Phone’s stereo speakers. And a few keyboard buttons have been swapped out for Android home, back, and multitasking buttons, along with dedicated app launcher and Google Assistant buttons.

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Hooking up the Razer Phone to Project Linda is simple. All a user would need to do is place the phone into the slot, and press a hardware button that causes a USB-C port to extend directly into the Razer Phone, simultaneously locking it in place. Essentially the entire hardware is powered off the phone, all the Project Linda base actually contributes to is some extra storage space, which is around 200GB (as on the prototype showed off at the event) and extra batteries, so the Razer Phone charges the entire time it’s connected to the docked.

As Engadget reports, Razer Marketing manager Kevin Sather said that the two devices weren’t “fully” designed in parallel, but the fit and finish is seamless. There’s no gap between the devices, and when the phone is sitting in its tray, it looks like a typical trackpad versus a snap-on accessory.

While Project Linda definitely feels like final hardware, Razer stressed that it’s still a concept. Reportedly, there are some bugs to work out with the way Android treats a second screen, for instance, and Razer says that the palm-rejection tech still needs some improvement. Ultimately, the company hopes that Project Linda’s screen will be a larger replica of its phone’s screen. Meaning that final hardware would feature a 120Hz Quad HD touchscreen that’s HDR capable.