Motorola has shown a genuine game changer with the Atrix smartphone. Nic Healey explains why the Atrix had everyone gasping at CES
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.
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.