If there’s one thing that CES has had in spades in 2011, it’s tablets. It seems that, in the wake of theiPad’s titanic success, everyone wants their own version of a handheld PC. Obviously Motorola is oneof those companies – the Xoom, running Honeycomb, looks set to become the first Android tablet to function as a genuine tablet and not just an oversized mobile phone.
But the Atrix smartphone, with its innovative laptop dock, could well kill the entire tablet market.
To a certain degree, the market for tablets has been artificially created by Apple. It’s certainly this writer’s opinion that very few people actually need a tablet. There’s not much a tablet can do that isn’t already possible on either a phone or a laptop. And once you’re looking at a 10-inch screen, you may as well be carrying around a netbook – which has better functionality anyway.
Enter the Atrix. The power alone – with dual Tegra processors and 1GB of RAM – rivals most tablets on the market. But it’s the Webtop software that truly makes this an impressive device. The Firefox browser means you can use any web-based application – this includes services such as Log Me In. In essence, with a single phone and a dock weighing just over a kilo, you’ve got fully functioned mobilecomputing.
The Atrix connected to its laptop dock
With the Atrix, Motorola have produced a mobile device that takes the focus away from content consumption – whether it be videos, music or the web – and makes content creation a possibility.As a business tool, it’s hard to think of anything that compares. But even for casual users, the mediadock means this can easily replace a media player in the loungeroom, thanks to the 1080p video output.
Obviously not everyone will agree. But it says something when a room full of jaded and cynical tech journos genuinely gasp when presented with something like the Atrix. No dates, carriers or pricingare available at the moment, but rest assured – when the Atrix arrives in the Australian market, things will change.