You have a supercomputer in your pocket, but chances are you still carry around a different, separate one in your briefcase or backpack. As phones get every more powerful, there’s really no reason for it to be this way. Razer’s Project Linda, announced today at CES 2018, is a tantalizing glance into a world where the two finally converge, even though you might not see it happen any time soon.
Project Linda is, on some level, just a phone case. A phone case that’s shaped like a laptop, sports a 13.3-inch quad-HD display, 53.6Wh battery, 200 GB of storage capacity, a keyboard, and a handful of ports. When paired with a Razer Phone that acts as its brain and touchpad, Linda can roar to life as a laptop that looks nearly identical to Razer’s ‘Blade’ line of gaming clamshells.
This concept of turning a phone into a laptop (or tablet) by Voltron-ing it with some accessories is not particularly new. The Atrix Lapdock tried to marry phones and laptops as early as 2011. The ASUS Padfone, which allowed users to slot their phones into a larger tablet accessory, hit the market in 2014 to middling reviews. Microsoft’s “Continuum” project for Windows 10 aspired to make Windows Phones usable as a replacement to a laptop, also with pretty mediocre results.
For the most part, modern day flagship phones do have enough horsepower to function as a laptop for basic email and web-browsing tasks, but challenge is mastering the fit and finish to end up with a product that doesn’t feel like an insufferably lame imitation of the gadget it’s trying to replace. It’s a challenge that a specialist hardware company like Razer might be able to meet, but for now Linda is just a concept, and so far none of Razer’s most far-out CES concept devices have actually gone up for sale. It’s a cool idea for sure, but for the time being that is all it is.