Motorola’s big Android announcements at CES have left me spilt.

Although I was very impressed with the animated demo of its Android 3.0-powered Xoom tablet, Motorola’s 4G Atrix smart phone (which will eventually be heading to Bell Mobility) left me sour. Sure, I’m impressed with the phone itself, but I just don’t see the appeal of the device’s secondary functionality — its ability to double as a laptop.

The device itself is awesome and features an Nvidia dual-core Tegra 2 chip, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and runs both Android 2.2 and a customized version of Linux. As a smart phone, this is definitely looks like a winner for Motorola.

I repeat, I would buy this device as a smart phone.

But where the company loses me is when it starts pitching the product as a combination smart phone/laptop. If a user wishes, they can dock the Atrix and attach it to a monitor or Motorola laptop dock (basically a dummy device that doesn’t work without the phone).

This added accessory makes little sense to me and I think consumers will feel the same way.

If I’m a business traveler, I am probably going to have a difficult time getting by on a PC with such limited memory. I am not sure users will be trading in their laptops and netbooks for a PC with only 16 GB of storage space.

Plus, the user still has to lug around this dummy laptop, so I don’t even see a convenience advantage.

To me, it would make more sense to implement phone features into a tablet device. Or have a tablet outfitted with this dock to give users the ability to access their phones via a larger touchscreen.

Either way, it’s an interesting concept that is still a long way away from getting me excited.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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