Normally, I try not to complain here. However, after reading a number of articles and reading the details from AT&T about the pricing of the Atrix 4G laptop dock, I have to add a little fuel to the fire. One of the biggest hits of CES2011 this year was the Atrix and it’s myriad of docking possibilities and accessories. However, it’s since been brought down a notch by the prohibitive pricing of said accessories, most notably the laptop dock.
Now, I haven’t personally been able to test the dock, check all it’s fine details and such, so please correct me in the comments if I’m wrong, but basically, it appears the laptop dock is a monitor, keyboard, usb port extender, battery and touchpad. Not even a multi-touch pad from what I’ve been reading. That’s it folks. However, combined with the Atrix, it becomes a Tegra 2 powered Android netbook with 4G connectivity, 802.11n 5Ghz wifi, Bluetooth 2.1, 1GB RAM, and 16GB of storage. If you buy them together, you will be charged $500 (phone and laptop dock), plus you must signup for the tethering fees through AT&T, even though you aren’t tethering your phone to anything, the phone is still what is receiving the data and using it. The idea, from what I can tell, is that you can have access to a larger scale screen and keyboard for tapping out those long emails, surfing the web for extended periods etc. That’s a very nice idea. I thought it was very cool, if the price was right. I would have guessed a price of $150 maximum.
However, that’s not going to happen. The cheapest way to get the laptop dock is bundled with the phone, so that the dock works out to around $300 (plus the tethering fees at $20/month, which I’m not sure if you can cancel that after just one month or it’s a full 24 month ordeal). Should you want to buy it separately it’ll ring up $500. No word on if AT&T will require tethering at that point or not. Great idea Motorola, poorly executed by AT&T and Motorola. I’m not sure who’s to blame, MOTO or AT&T.
Please, if you are still considering this because of the potential to lighten your travel load, look at a netbook. Without going into details, I know I can by a dual core powered netbook, with 1GB RAM, 250GB of storage, built in webcam, multi-touch touchpad, 13 hours of battery life and full Windows 7 support for just over $350. It’s small enough to travel, powerful enough for what you need and if you still want the 4G connection, then pay that $20/ tethering fee and tether to the Atrix.
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