Stop me if you’ve heard this idea before: Imagine turning your smartphone into a laptop just by plugging it into a laptop “shell.”
Yeah… it’s not a new idea and yet Superbook, a product that promises to turn your Android phone into a laptop, has already smashed its Kickstarter campaign goal of $50,000 with more than $398,000 pledged as of this writing and 28 days left to go.
The product isn’t complicated. You plug any Android 5.0 (or higher) smartphone into the Superbook via a USB cable and you immediately get an Android-powered laptop with an 11.6-inch HD screen, keyboard and trackpad and eight hours of battery life.
The best part is its price: $99.
On paper the Superbook sounds great, but having tried many other “turn your phone into a laptop or PC” gadgets like the Motorola Atrix and the Laptop Dock that kickstarted this concept way back in 2011, I can’t say any of them blew me away.
The largest company in denial is Microsoft. It made a big deal out of Continuum, a feature that lets you plug your Windows 10 Mobile phone into any screen and turn it into a near desktop PC experience.
It’s a sound idea, but one that nobody really cares for it seems. People are perfectly fine owning different devices that run different operating systems.
The selling point of “all your data is synced” to your phone is a moot one in my opinion. With cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft’s OneDrive, most of us already have access to our data from any device.
At $99, the Superbook costs a lot less than most Chromebooks, but you could easily find a $150 or $200 Chromebook that’ll have better specs and doesn’t require your phone.
Still, I’m not saying the Superbook won’t deliver on its promises. I’m just not sure if it’s really a solution to any real problem that exists, since you’ll still end up carrying two devices (a phone and a laptop). So why not carry a laptop that is a real laptop instead of just an empty shell waiting to be unlocked with your smartphone?