All the byte stuff
The unusual Motorola Atrix can be more than a phone with the right accessories, writes Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
1 MOTOROLA MULTIMEDIA DOCK Motorola, $ 129 motorola. com. au ★★★★
Away from your desk and need a computer? This humble accessory can assist. The Multimedia Dock ensures the Atrix lives up to its highpowered reputation by not only providing a charging berth but a way to turn the phone into a desktop computer. The Multimedia Dock holds the Atrix in place and hides a host of connections at the back, which include three USB ports and one Mini HDMI connection. The USB ports can be used to add a memory stick for file transfers, a mouse, keyboard or similar, while the HDMI port offers more – connect the Atrix and dock to an HDMIfriendly monitor or TV and it will deliver the phone screen, Firefox web browser and apps to a big screen. A Bluetooth remote control also accompanies the dock.
2 MOTOROLA KEYBOARD Motorola, $ 79 motorola. com. au ★★★
This keyboard will probably steal more attention from Motorola tablet buyers but it’s pleasingly useful with the Atrix too. If you can secure your smartphone in a comfortable position ( with a dock, perhaps), adding this keyboard makes it into a very small computer. It connects to the Atrix easily via Bluetooth and runs on two AA batteries, promising up to six months of active use. This black keyboard sits at a comfortable, downward angle and its keys are raised, separated and generously sized for comfortable buttonmashing. But the best part about this keyboard is its array of function keys. These provide shortcuts to the web browser, Gmail, contacts, text messaging, home screen and even a back button, which is more helpful than you expect.
3 MOTOROLA LAPDOCK Motorola, $ 449 telstra. com ★★★★★
It’s the accessory that transforms this phone into a computer and makes the Atrix unique. The Lapdock is actually a laptop shell that comes alive when a user inserts its brain ( the Atrix) into a flip-out dock. Once installed, the phone’s homescreen appears on the Lapdock’s 11.6-inch display to be used with its touchpad and five-line keyboard, while a mouse or memory stick can be added via two USB ports. In short, users can send text messages, make hands-free phone calls, move files and even play Angry Birds on this hybrid computer. The Lapdock also delivers a fullsized Firefox browser for web surfing or working ‘‘ in the cloud’’ on Google Docs, Flickr, Hotmail or similar. Sadly, as a computer the Atrix can be sluggish.
4 MOTOROLA CAR DOCK Motorola, $ 79 motorola. com. au ★★★★
IN case you remain unconvinced of this phone’s hidden depths, Motorola has issued an in-car gadget for the Atrix. Another unwieldy car mount, I hear you sigh, but you’d be wrong. This Car Dock comes with software to elevate its use. Slot the Atrix into this mount and the phone automatically launches its Car Home app that delivers six large icons to the home screen. The first four are taken by Music, My Location, Calling and Voice Search but the other two positions, and another six on the next screen, can be filled with whatever shortcuts you choose. The car dock itself is pleasingly solid and provides a suction cup that can be secured with a clip. The charging cord is short, however, drivers could add a dedicated navigation app.