As well as the usual deluge of smart TVs and internet-connected fridges, CES always brings some concept ideas of what gadgets might look like in a few years.
Last year, Razer brought a three-screen laptop, which blew the appropriate number of minds. This year, they’ve gone one better with Project Linda, a 13-inch laptop that’s entirely powered by a tiny Android phone.
The laptop shell is based on Razer’s popular Blade Stealth laptop, and from the outside, it looks perfectly ordinary: black aluminium construction, 2560×1440 120Hz 13-inch LCD, full-sized keyboard with RGB lighting, and the usual USB-C and USB-A ports.
But on the specs side, things are far more sparse, because this laptop is powered by the Razer Phone, a 6-inch Android device that’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset. The phone docks in the laptop shell where you’d normally find the touchpad, and the screen then works as a touchpad, or a second monitor for gaming. The laptop shell does contain a big battery that can charge the phone 3-4 times, as well as 200GB of internal storage.
For right now, Project Linda is just that — a project, with no price or intended release date. But it comes at an interesting time for mobile computing. Mobile processors are starting to seriously catch up with the chips you find in lower-end laptops, and the first Windows devices powered by mobile chips — actually, the same Snapdragon 835 found in the Razer Phone — are going on sale next month.
In theory, there’d be nothing hardware-wise preventing Razer’s concept from running Windows, or some future version of Chrome OS or Android more optimized for a desktop experience. Power isn’t a issue so much any more; rather, it’s a question of making the software work correctly, and ensuring a consistent experience across a phone and a laptop. If someone can pull that off, Razer’s concept could become reality very soon.