The most exciting thing I saw at CES was the Motorola Atrix. Taken on its own it is a nice Android handset that, running a dual-core processor, screams. Taken in the context of all its accessories, from the laptop dock to the media cradle, it is an amazing piece of technology. With the Atrix and its accessories your phone can effectively become the brain for ALL your computing. What was not clear at the time was when the handset would be released and what it would cost.
Well the word is out and, once again, the response proves that there is never a way to make everyone happy.
On contract the phone will be just $199. $199 for a phone with a dual core processor. AWESOME. The dock will cost $500 but that drops down to $300 so long as the consumer also takes the Data Pro plan and the tethering add-on plan for $20 a month for 24 months.
The end result is that for $500 you get a powerhouse of a phone and a laptop dock. Yes, you need to add-on a tethering plan but lets face it, the data plans for phones are intended FOR PHONES. They are not intended for phones that will power laptops. That combination will use a whole lot more data. Then again, the $20 tethering plan is less than I pay for data on my iPad each month.
But you can never make people happy. As a result we find…
“there has been a lot of chatter on the Internet about the high cost of the laptop dock solution…”
And then later
“What’s even more ridiculous is that despite the fact that mobile computing power, when docked to the laptop dock, will be coming from the Tegra 2-enabled Atrix 4G as the laptop dock itself doesn’t have its own OS or processor–it’s just a screen, keyboard, dock, and extended battery–AT&T will be forcing users to purchase the regular 2 GB metered data plan and also the tethering plan for an additional 2 GB per month and $25 in subscription cost.”
So effectively the laptop dock is $500 bucks, for which price you could buy a real laptop, an iPad, an Android tablet…
BUT you are NOT getting a “real” laptop, an iPad or an Android tablet. You ARE GETTING brand new hardware, the ability to have your phone also function as your laptop… And desktop. This is early adopter-ville and it COST MONEY to get the latest technology NOW. Do people expect such things to be free? Seriously??
At $500 for the combination I think the Atrix remains an intriguing option… And a taste of what is to come. And if it seems outrageous to you I think there are still some slightly used Moto Razrs available on eBay.