On January 10, I wrote about the Motorola ATRIX 4G handheld computer and cell phone that had just been announced. This pocket-sized "smartphone" has an optional docking station that allows for the attachment of a full sized keyboard, an 11.6-inch video screen, and more. Running the Android operating system, the ATRIX 4G has been billed as a cell phone that is as powerful as any desktop computer of only a few years ago. Motorola engineers suggest that it will suffice as your only computer. I am not convinced.
The Motorola Atrix 4G is now shipping and is available from a number of merchants. Galen Gruman obtained one this week, along with its Multimedia Dock and related peripherals, and took it for a test-drive to see if delivers on this 'post-PC' promise. He writes, "The PC as we've long known is dead -- or it will be soon."
(Click on any image to see a larger picture.)
The Atrix costs $199 with a two-year contract from AT&T Wireless in the United States. The docking station costs an additional $400 and includes an LCD screen, keyboard, trackpad, and battery in its laptop shell. If you want to use the laptop dock over a 3G connection, rather than just Wi-Fi, you need to subscribe to AT&T's $45 DataPro plan. Even at those prices, it is cost-competitive with many laptop computers of today and yet provides a level of convenience not available with a standard laptop. It is cheaper than purchasing both a smartphone and a laptop of equivalent computing power.
You can read Galen Gruman's full report at http://goo.gl/VJWDC
I am still not convinced. I think I'll wait a bit longer before purchasing the ATRIX 4G or any similar smartphone/computer that appears in the market in the next few months.