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Motorola Atrix review

Our Rating :

A clever but half-baked idea masking a very practical, but slightly overpriced, handset.


Android 2.2, 4.0in 960×540 display


We really like the minimalism of the dock. With no serious processing power inside, there’s no need for any unsightly vents. It’s really slender too and weighs just 1kg, that’s less than an 11in MacBook Air. It’s not as sturdy and stiff as the Air, but for such a slender device it’s pretty impressive.

Motorola Atrix lapdock alsone

The touchpad is huge and has a neat double-tap disable function in the top-left corner, with a little light to tell you if it’s on or off. Essential as you’ll be knocking it all the time otherwise. That said, precise cursor control can be difficult with a little lag apparent in your inputs, which worsens noticeably when the device is under load. The keyboard is the main draw here, but it’s not great. The keys have an understandably shallow travel, but we feel they could have been springier and a little larger too.

Motorola Atrix lapdock open

The screen itself is 11.6in diagonally, with a resolution of 1,366×768, far better for web browsing, watching videos and office work than the phone’s own screen. However, in an effort to keep the price down we guess, image quality isn’t great. The screen loses contrast significantly at its highest brightness setting, plus poor viewing angles and average contrast and colour vibrancy mark it out as a TN panel.

Those viewing angle are a particular problem as the dock also suffers from preposterously limited range of movement, simply put it doesn’t tilt back enough. Sat in an economy seat on a plane, you would barely be able to read the screen. Even using it at our desk, we found we had to place it far further away than we would usually to see the display square on.

All this is probably a stylistic decision as, with the screen right back, both the dock and display sit at the same pleasing angle. Whatever Motorola’s thinking, it’s disastrous for a device that’s clearly aimed at those who want to work on the move, but without having to carry both a smartphone and fully-fledged 2kg laptop.

Motorola Atrix lapdock

There’s a tiny pair of stereo speakers at the rear, which take over from the ones on the phone, but they’re still pretty weedy even by laptop standards. Also on the rear is a pair of USB ports, which can be used to attach storage devices – you get an onscreen indication when you plug in a drive, and it then appears in the pre-installed file manager. You can also plug in a keyboard and mouse if you wish.

The LapDock has its own built-in battery, which effectively doubles the battery life of the Atrix itself, plugged into its dock, we got 16 hours of video playback from it – around the same figure as the Asus Transformer with its keyboard attachment.

Motorola Atrix HD dock

The HD Multimedia Dock is a far simpler, and more successful, design. It has a micro HDMI output, so you can connect it to a digital monitor or HD TV. There’s also a minijack audio output if you just want to use it to play music. For media playback the Atrix has a special interface, which displays the time in big letters, and gives you easy access to media playback functions. You get a range of dock widgets and can also add and remove shortcuts as with the usual Android home screen. In addition there are three USB ports, primarily so you can add a keyboard and mouse and turn the Atrix into a desktop PC.

Motorola Atrix HD dock rear

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Price £0
Rating ***


Main display size 4.0in
Native resolution 960×540
Second Display No
CCD effective megapixels 5-megapixel
Flash LED
Video recording format MP4, H.264
Connectivity 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1
GPS yes
Internal memory 16384MB
Memory card support microSDHC
Memory card included N/A
Operating frequencies GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 850/900/1900/2100
Wireless data GPRS, EDGE, 3G, HSDPA
Size 64x118x11mm
Weight 134g


Operating system Android 2.2
Microsoft Office compatibility N/A
Email client POP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format support N/A
Video playback formats N/A
FM Radio no
Web Browser Webkit
Accessories USB cable, charger, plus optional HD Dock and LapDock
Talk time 9 hours
Standby time 264 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 52h 11m

Buying Information

Price on contract £35 per month contract
SIM-free supplier N/A
Contract/prepay supplier N/A

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