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NexDock smart device to laptop expansion achieves funding goal

by Mark Tyson on 18 April 2016, 11:01

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qac2ai

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IndieGogo crowdfunding project NexDock has comfortably passed its funding goal of $300k. The campaign ended yesterday with the NexDock designers gaining $363k of backing for their device, which promises to "transform Windows 10 smartphones, mini PCs, tablets and more into a Laptop". The device will cost $149 when it goes up for sale later this year, however crowdfunding backers were able to reserve a device for between $79 and $119 depending upon when they got onboard.

Billed as 'The World’s Most Affordable Laptop', the NexDock combines a Bluetooth keyboard, 14-inch screen and 10000mAh Li-ion battery into a portable device you could plug your smartphone, tablet, or screenless computer device into.

An obvious use for the NexDock is with a Continuum compatible Windows 10 smartphone. However designing something to be used with Windows 10 mobiles of any kind limits your market somewhat, so the NexDock offers plenty of further strings to its bow. For example the developers say that "iPhone and Android users can utilize of the mini HDMI port or wireless adapter for a substantial screen size and productivity upgrade". Of course you could also use it as a tablet companion device, as these are basically just big smartphones.

Using the NexDock as a laptop second screen is another trumpeted use of this device. Other more imaginative uses include using the NexDock to make your PC-Stick (such as the Intel Compute Stick) into a full portable computer, this same strategy works with the popular Raspberry Pi too, see picture below.

In future hardware revisions NexDock promises docks with better integrated mini-PCs and with a variety of screen sizes. Overall the developers voice their hopes to cut down waste in consumer electronics, where people have so many distinct computing devices.

The NexDock tech specs are as follows:

  • Dimensions & weight: 351mm x 233mm x 20mm, 1490g
  • Display: 14.1-inch 1366x768 TN Screen with 16:9 display ratio
  • Keyboard and Touchpad: Bluetooth class 4.0
  • Battery: Li-ion battery, 3.8V / 10000mAh
  • HDMI port: mini HDMI
  • Connectivity: 2x USB port, 1 x TF card slot, 1 x 3.5mm headphone port, built-in dual speakers (NexDock works as expansion dock when connected via USB)
  • Power: DC 3.5mm 5V/2.5 A

Unfortunately the team didn't reach the stretch-goal of $500k which would have meant one of the USB ports would have been replaced with a modern USB Type-C port. If they had hit a million dollars in funding a higher res screen was on the cards. Both these goals look like indications of future NexDock directions, as stated above.

IndieGogo backers will start to get their NexDock devices in June this year. General availability will be at $149 but a timescale for such sales hasn't been narrowed down.

HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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I'm not sure what to think. This was initially appealing as quite a cheap and handy device to increase the productivity capabilities of a smartphone or a tablet. Then I noticed it has a 1366×768 14" display - which I find horrible for work or media consumption that involves lots of text.

Although, as a mouse, keyboard and display in a compact battery powered package, I could see myself buying one to replace the ‘lab’ mouse, keyboard and display which I use to build or work on machines.
Pretty interesting product actually.

Quite a handy to have on the ‘test bench’ for when relatives and friends inevitably bring their 90 year old valve powered PC round and ask if you can do them a favour and fix it. Could also be handy for when there is a problem with one of the servers in the cupboard, although VGA compatibility is pretty essential there :(

Same as DDY, I cant see me actually using this the way they intend it to be used (i.e. with a smartphone). It needs a much higher resolution screen to be remotely interesting for that purpose.
For me the specs are just about perfect. Definately a device that i will be keeping my eye on, most likely in a version 2.

The only reason i didnt back it, was due the seemingly limited ways to actually attach a computer to it. I dont want my computers dangling from a cable, i want it to be attached directly on the laptop. If it had Lego studs on the backside of the screen, that would be enough for me :)
I'm sure I commented on this device before.

It's basically an updated version of the palm foleo that was panned by tech sites (which pretty much killed off palm) or even more accurately that super well known and hugely successful product the redfly mobile companion….

Then there's the asus padfone which actually makes sense because you can dock the phone in the device but even that wasn't exactly a huge success…. actually a revamped version using continuum wouldn't be a bad idea, come on asus you can do it :).
Having little modular computers like that is a compelling idea. We'll see if other companies catch on.