All the byte stuff

The un­usual Mo­torola Atrix can be more than a phone with the right ac­ces­sories, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley-Ni­chol­son

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

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.

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