New life for an old lapdock


The thought of a ‘pocket computer’ really intrigues me. Being able to carry my computer around in my pocket but then being able to plug it into an larger dock and get a full-sized experience out of it sounds really cool. Imagine my excitement when Motorola came out with the Lapdock. I was on Verizon so I couldn’t get in on the original Atrix, but I got a Razr and immediately went out and got the Lapdock 500. Then there was the disappointment of actually running the Webtop application for the first time. From what I could tell they booted up a full linux distro then tried to run Firefox ontop of it. To say it was pokey is a complete understatement, it was unusable. However, I had heard that the Razr was due for a major upgrade in ICS and so I kept my fingers crossed.

The Ice Cream Sandwich update came and I hesitantly plugged the Razr into the Lapdock. It switched display mode and started behaving like a tablet. The keyboard worked good, and it was finally usable as a netbook. That’s all I really wanted, just a simple netbook-like experience, nothing crazy. After using it for a while I started to encounter annoyances. The trackpad was on all the time, so when I was typing I would bump it and move the cursor. Sometimes it just freezes, for no reason, so I have to reboot the phone. It was still usable in my opinion thought.

I started thinking about what is going to happen if I were to ever change my phone. Then I realized that the life of the lapdock was tied to the phone. This just wouldn’t do, it’s a nice piece of hardware and I would hate to just have to throw it away. Then I found this article: http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/21/3105822/motorola-lapdock-hacked-raspberry-pi-rikomagic. I should have never doubted the modder community, of course the Raspberry Pi could breathe life into my laptdock! There were other options I had never heard of as well. I am actually looking forward to getting this project going in the near future. We will see if I can follow-up with some articles on my experience. There have to be enough lapdocks out there that someone might find it interesting.

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  1. #1 by rich on February 28, 2013 - 4:48 pm

    Just like you, I was all excited about the Lapdock. Waited for the Razr Maxx to upgrade my old Blackberry Storm and doomed again to be an early adapter. Have tried various configurations to turn my lapdock into a mini computer without success. Works with Atrix Lapdock but not with the more advanced lapdock 500. Afraid if jelly bean comes to my original Maxx that the lapdock will have even more issues. If you have success with lapdock 500 I could use any info. Thanks a lot Motorola.

  2. #2 by jeffro on March 16, 2013 - 1:17 pm

    @rich

    I recently got the OTA Jelly Bean upgrade for my Maxx. Didn’t seem to matter on the lapdock much, it’s still the meh experience it was before. Have you ever found a program that works with the built-in Lapdock 500 camera? I thought skype would use it but it doesn’t

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