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with AEG's VP of Social and Marketing on May 28th
Motorola’s Atrix 4G was one of our favorite devices from the Consumer Electronics Show, primarily because it had the cool ability to turn into a full-fledged ultraportable laptop when plugged into its Laptop Dock. So it’s impressive just how quickly AT&T has managed to quash my excitement for the device with the announcement of its crazy Laptop Dock pricing.
If you want the Atrix 4G’s Laptop Dock, you can either pay $499.99 to buy it bundled with the phone, or the same $499.99 to get the dock separately.
Yes, you read that right — the dock will cost the same as an iPad, even though it relies mostly on the Atrix’s hardware to function (it’s basically just a keyboard and screen shell that gets powered up by the phone). While the dock does feature a battery of its own, that’s still little reason to price it the same as a full-fledged computer.
AT&T is also forcing users to sign up for its tethering plan at $20 a month, if they want to get the Atrix bundled with the Laptop Dock. I suppose it makes sense since the dock relies on the Atrix’s network connection, but it still seems ridiculous for AT&T to demand even more money when the dock itself is overpriced.
The Atrix 4G will retail $199.99 with a two-year contract on its own, and AT&T says that preorders will begin on February 13. The phone, along with its accessories, will be available on “March 6 or earlier.”
The dock pricing is a shame, because Motorola could have really had a hit on its hands if it were priced more competitively. I was personally expecting it to be around $200 or $300, which would make it a viable option for students and other users who want a tiny ultraportable or netbook.
Check out VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi’s hands on with the Atrix at CES below: