Back in 2015, Microsoft announced a feature to be rolled out with its brand new Windows 10-powered smartphones that could’ve brought down the barrier between the PC and the smartphone. Called Continuum, it allowed Lumia phones to connect to a large screen, a keyboard, and a mouse using a specific device and transforming the image output into one similar to what users experience on desktop Windows 10 editions. Continuum was a truly revolutionary product, together with the concept of the Universal App, running both on desktop computers and smartphones powered by Windows 10.
Next, Samsung came forth with a similar idea called the DeX – a docking station for Galaxy S8/Note 8 phones that gave them not only the possibility to output their screen content on a large screen but to connect to a keyboard, a mouse, and a wired network, and charge the phone while also keeping it cool. DeX gave users the possibility to work and play on a big-screen TV using a full-size keyboard and mouse, turning their phone into a pocket-sized personal computer. And the idea seems to work better this time – Samsung presented an updated DeX this year along with the Galaxy S9.
At the same time, Huawei has also presented a similar feature, this time without the need for a docking station – its PC Mode works by connecting the phone to a screen with a simple adapter cable, allowing users to seamlessly switch to a desktop-like interface, get things done when they are away from their office, and even play Cabaret Club online roulette on a screen bigger than ever.
But work is not the only area where smartphones seem to be out to take over their competitors. With last year’s gaming smartphone Razer seems to have started a trend, with manufacturers like ZTE and Xiaomi following its lead. All three (along with the rumored Razer Phone 2) are veritable pocket-sized powerhouses that offer a seamless and smooth gaming experience on the go. But at CES 2018, Razer took a further step by presenting Project Linda, a product meant to turn the Razer Phone (perhaps the upcoming Razer Phone 2) into a gaming laptop with a dual screen.
Linda, as presented at the CES, is a product similar to Miraxess’s Mirabook and Sentio’s Superbook – a laptop shell that turns smartphones into portable computers. But it is built in a typical Razer fashion, with a high-definition 13.3″ screen, a Chroma-powered back-lit keyboard, a ton of storage and a big battery pack that will allow users to work and play for about 10 hours on a single charge. The idea was very well received by Razer fans, with many continuously asking when they can buy one (Razer is rumored to unveil the final product at this year’s IFA conference in Berlin.
Smartphones seem to slowly transform into desktop-like computers – it’s a logical step, considering the ton of processing power crammed under their hoods. They excel in pretty much every aspect except for high-profile gaming – for that, we’ll always have powerful PCs and consoles.