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Wild concept makes the Razer Phone a lot more exciting

by Brandon Russell | January 9, 2018January 9, 2018 6:00 am PST

Last year, Razer kicked off CES by announcing one of the show’s wilder concepts, a three-headed beast of a laptop King Ghidorah would be proud of. Now, the company is back with something so crazy it just might work. If you own a Razer Phone, the device’s future just became a lot more interesting.

Known as Project Linda, Razer’s newest concept allows Razer Phone owners to dock the device in the chassis of a special laptop shell, essentially turning the device into a Blade Stealth. To be fair, Razer’s idea conjures memories of Asus’ PadFone line, but done in a more exciting way. And let’s be honest, Linda is cooler than what Samsung is doing with DeX.

But that’s pretty much what Linda is when distilled down to its basics, a fancy dock, complete with a 13.3-inch QHD display, 53.6 Wh battery, 200GB of storage, USB-A port, and a USB-C port. The aluminum chassis is just 15mm thin and weighs under 1.25 kg, so it can easily be transported to and from school.

The phone sits in place of the laptop’s trackpad and projects the Android experience onto the larger 13.3-inch screen. What’s cool is the phone will function as it normally would, allowing users to send messages, take phone calls, and watch Netflix (going nicely with the Razer Phone’s designation as the best way to watch Netflix on-the-go).

When the phone is docked, Dolby Atmos will continue to pump out of the stereo speakers, while the Snapdragon 835 chip and 8GB of RAM makes powering through content creation a breeze. There’s also a full keyboard with, as you’d expect, Chroma support, along with dedicated keys for navigation, search and app selection.

Razer designed the phone and laptop chassis to complement each other, which means the Razer Phone’s gorgeous 5.7-inch display will show supplementary information. If you’re playing Vainglory, for example, you’ll see the game projected onto the 13.3-inch screen along with character stats on the phone’s display. It’s a nice way to enhance the experience without being overly complicated.

As you can see in the images, once the phone is docked you’ll see a more traditional desktop environment, almost as if you’re using a Chromebook. The information bar is on the bottom while icons litter the desktop. It’s an easy concept to grasp and could be a huge boon for folks who don’t want to carry around two devices at once.

“Android power users and laptop enthusiasts share a need for performance in a mobile form factor, which we provide with our award-winning Razer Phone and Razer laptops,” said Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan. “Project Linda combines the best of both worlds, bringing a larger screen and physical keyboard to the Android environment, enhancing the experience for gaming and productivity.”

For as wild as the concept sounds, it was surprisingly polished during our briefing with Razer ahead of today’s announcement, like something that could be on store shelves in just a few months. There are still plenty of technical hurdles to overcome, but the building blocks have been put in place for something very exciting. Put it this way: It’s something I could see someone using out in the wild.

Using the phone as a trackpad felt very natural and seeing Android combined with Sentio felt good with some Razer tweaks. Razer also had a wired mouse attached via USB, making the experience feel more desktop-like than ever. You could probably convince someone Project Linda was a real laptop without them realizing there’s a phone stuffed inside of a shell.

But that begs the question: Who would own something like this if it actually came to market, and how much would it cost? It’s unclear if Razer is looking that far ahead with Linda, but owners of the Razer Phone should be chomping at the bit.

When Razer unveiled its three-screened laptop last year, we knew something like that would never become a viable consumer product. But Project Linda is at least based in reality, and could be a great way for the company to attract customers to its Razer Phone, or at least differentiate itself in the mobile market. Check out the video above for a better look at Project Linda.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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