Our smartphones are pretty amazing little devices. Not only are they at the heart of our communications, but they’re far more powerful than most of the computers of a decade ago. So why do we need both a smartphone and a computer? Many of us don’t.
A Kickstarter campaign has been started for a laptop shell that actually uses your smartphone’s brains to operate. Basically, your phone becomes your computer, simply by plugging it into the device, called the Superbook.
The Superbook is basically a laptop dock that turns any Android smartphone into a computer. It looks exactly like a laptop, but instead of having all of its components inside the shell, it uses your phone’s components. This seriously cuts down on costs.
At the heart of the computer is Andromium, an app that turns data from your phone into data that can be more easily interfaced with on a computer screen. Because its based on Android, it will be a little limited for some people, but as a basic daily driver, considering there are plenty of great apps for Android, it could certainly be plenty in many cases.
The Superbook itself offers eight hours of battery life, as well as a full keyboard and a multitouch trackpad. The device measures 7.6 x 11.3 x 0.7 inches and weighs just 2 pounds, so it’s a very portable option indeed.
Once you plug in your smartphone, the Superbook will basically be an extension of your phone with a desktop-type interface. All of the files on the smartphone will be accessible, and the computer will use your phone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection to connect to the internet and other peripherals.
Perhaps the best thing about it is the fact that it only costs $100 — that’s right, for a tiny fraction of the price of other computers, you can access your email, social media, Office apps, and so on — which is what most people need from their computer anyway.
To use the Superbook, you’ll need an Android device that has Android 5.0 or later, a dual core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and at least 25MB of free storage. Of course, it remains to be seen just how well the device functions, and while the early bird specials are all gone, you can back the project for as little as $100, after which you’ll get one for yourself in February 2017.