Not long ago, Razer released it's first smartphone. I genuinely thought that this overpowered phone was a bit overhyped. Mobile gaming is on the rise, but even I didn't think it would rise this quickly. Games like Arena of Valor, Vainglory, Lineage II, and Modern Combat 5 have proven there is a future for mobile gaming. Communities are growing and millions upon millions are joining in. Razer is looking ahead of this curve and have been working on a new project to cater to this growing category. Its called PROJECT LINDA.
Project Linda is a similar experience to Microsoft's Continuum, only better executed. With the HP Elite X3, Windows 10 Mobile users were able to connect their phone to a "laptop dock", for lack of a better term. The dock being a laptop itself. It was a bare bones build. A screen, keyboard, trackpad, and speakers. The phone did all the work processing. When connected, you would get a Windows 10 start screen and a near desktop experience. Accessing Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications, like Microsoft's Office Suite, created the sense of a real Windows 10 laptop. Samsung also tried this with the Galaxy S8 line and it's DeX Station.
In the case of Project Linda, Razer integrated the phone to be the touchpad itself. The phone is part of the whole device, unlike the Elite X3 and Galaxy S8. The build and aesthetics if near perfect when the phone is locked in place. As I mentioned previously, I felt that the Razer phone was a bit of an overkill for mobile gaming in its current state, but now I see why they spec'd it out so well. When you lock the phone in place, the "laptop dock", will launch Razer's own desktop interface. The experience is extremely smooth! Major kudos for the software engineers that built it. With the phone firmly seated, the display scaling appropriately, and quickness of the OS, its hard to not think it is just a phone and dock.
As of right now, the project is sporting a 1080p display, built in front-facing webcam, RGB keyboard, USB-C charging port, and USB 3.1 port. Mixer's latest update allows mobile users to stream their game live, so the webcam is a nice feature. There are no speakers in the laptop dock because it utilizes the phones front-facing speakers. I believe they plan to include internal storage as well, but as for memory size, it would depend on what consumers want, and what can fit inside. It would be nice to see a 2K display since the phone has one. That might actually be the case if this product makes it to manufacturing. After all, this is just a project.
Razer has had previous projects that didn't get the green light. I do think that Project Linda stands a very good chance, based on how well designed the prototype was made. Definitely feels close to a complete product. I would say that the locking mechanism will probably see some changes. It holds the phone firmly, but is not foolproof. Maybe creating a slot to slide it into place would be a better option, as it would ensure the device has been inserted far enough to get a proper lock before locking it in. The best solution is to create a safeguard that would instruct the user to check the placement before locking the device.
I would have to say, Project Linda is one of my favorite experiences at CES 2018 so far. Very innovative and creative. Razer will have some additional announcements later today, so stay tuned for those. What do you think of Project Linda? Is there anything you would change or keep? Does this make you consider the Razer phone more than before?