The dream of turning your smartphone into a laptop will never die. From Motorola’s Atrix to this crazy HP Windows Phone, there have been a number of companies that have tried (and largely failed) to build a smartphone that can be attached to a dock and turned into a laptop.
In a somewhat new twist, a company wants to sell you just the laptop shell, while letting you use your current Android phone and an app to power it. The Superbook is a 11.6-inch laptop shell built by the team behind Andromium OS, the app that allows your Android smartphone to run a desktop-like operating system.
The Superbook sounds pretty simple: download the Andromium app on a device running Android 5.0 or later, connect the device using either a micro-USB or USB-C cord, and the laptop shell will power on. The company says the Superbook supports multitasking and comes with a multi-touch trackpad and a full keyboard (and looks very similar to a Macbook Pro). It can also charge your smartphone while in use, and is rated for eight hours of battery life, according to the company.
Of course there are the questions about performance when so many different phones and chipsets can potentially power the Superbook. Andromium can run millions of Android apps including Chrome, Gmail, and Microsoft Office, but it’s unclear if the OS is powerful enough to match the expected performance of a desktop machine. The Superbook is expected to launch soon on Kickstarter, starting at $99 for backers.