Dubbed “Project Linda,” the clamshell device is the latest attempt at mobile and laptop convergence.
The idea isn’t new: Slot your Razer Phone into the clamshell dock and transform it into a 13-inch laptop with full-sized keyboard and touchscreen. It is, however, the smoothest and sleekest implementation of this concept created.
Past failures be damned, Razer’s making its own version and it doesn’t look half bad. Closed, Project Linda looks like Razer’s Blade gaming laptops. It’s pretty thin, too at 0.59-inches.
But open it up and you’ll see there’s a huge hole where you’d normally find a trackpad.
That’s because your Razer Phone becomes the laptop’s trackpad when you slip it. The most satisfying part is how the phone is inserted in. You press a button in the upper left corner of the trackpad, which then slides a retracted USB-C plug into the phone’s port — complete with a really pleasing mechanical switch sound. It’s just the kind of detail you’d expect from a Razer concept.
There are two modes for Project Linda. The phone’s Android home screen can be mirrored onto the 13.3-inch full HD display (Razer’s shooting to make it a touchscreen, but it was a non-touchscreen version on the prototypes) or accessed in desktop mode, which gives you an interface that’s similar to Chrome OS or Windows 10.
All of the Project Linda laptop docks I tried out were pre-production concept prototypes so they were pretty buggy (the Razer Phone as a touchpad was laggy and janky), but the keyboard felt very tactile, the screen was bright and vibrant, and Android apps ran alright.
This being a Razer device, modeled after the Blade laptops, the keyboard is tricked out with the company’s signature Chroma keyboard. So you can customize the keys to some 16 million colors or have it play different effects like spectrum and ripple, which display a rainbow hue of colors and flashing effect, respectively.
Razer had one model running Vainglory that was connected to a Bluetooth mouse and it was a decent experience if you ignored the bugginess and crashes.
Razer hasn’t provided any details on battery life or how much Project Linda will cost (if it even is released commercially). For all we know, Project Linda may never see the light of day.
Still, the concept device is intriguing and if there’s any company that can make you care about a laptop dock for your Razer Phone, it’s Razer.