Razer’s recently released Android smartphone could end up as its next laptop. The company revealed its Project Linda concept today at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Linda is a hybrid laptop dock for the Razer Phone. When you connect the two devices, the phone powers a 13.3-inch screen, a full-sized keyboard, and the option to plug in external devices like a mouse. You can even use the phone’s screen as a smart touchpad. This means you can even play competitive mobile games like Vainglory with a keyboard and mouse, which could give you an advantage in esports competitions.
The laptop body doesn’t have any of its own processing power, but it does feature a 200 GB storage drive, a 720p webcam, its own microphone, and an extended battery (with a 53.6 watt-hour capacity). This turns your phone into a workstation terminal that is better suited to tasks like typing or even web meetings over Skype. Razer didn’t share any details about pricing or even going into full production with the Project Linda at this time.
Razer isn’t the only company trying to expand the capabilities of Android smartphones. Samsung has its DeX Station, which is a tiny dock that enables you to connect your phone to a television or monitor as well as a keyboard and a mouse. But Razer’s take on this concept has the potential ot be more mobile and useful.
“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,” Razer chief executive officer Min-Liang Tan said in a statement. “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.”
The Razer Phone is a speedy little device for productivity use cases, but having the option to plug it into a hybrid with a big battery and a full keyboard and mouse support could make it something that replaces that Chromebook in your backpack. It seems unlikely that this will replace traditional Windows or Mac laptops, but Razer is, of course, still making those as well. But if Razer can hit an aggressive price on the Linda, then it could provide a solution for customers who want something for work without having to spend a lot more on a full notebook. This is the kind of concept that could take over the cheaper, entry-level laptop market.
I’m most excited about the Project Linda display, which is a Quad HD touchscreen with a 120 Hz refresh rate — just like the Razer Phone itself. This likely means that future Razer Blade laptops will feature this display technology, which could make the company’s excellent Windows devices even better for gaming.