Hands-On With Razer's Project Linda Smartphone Hybrid Concept – CES 2018

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Razer has announced a few new PC peripherals at CES 2018 this week, but the one that really caught our attention was Project Linda. This is a concept still, but we did get a chance to check out the prototype with Razer this week at CES. In a nutshell, it's a laptop shell, which uses the Razer Phone as the touchpad. So it's similar to other smartphone docks we've seen recently, like Samsung DeX, but it seems to work a bit better.

Project Linda is basically the shell of the Blade Stealth, so it's very lightweight and thin, although it is about half an inch thicker than the Blade Stealth. It has a full chiclet keyboard, with some of the function keys being more suited for the Android interface, since it is actually a customized Android interface on a larger display here. Now this is Razer, so Chroma is included. Allowing you to use all kinds of different colors and such on the keyboard here. It sports a 13.3-inch display, with a Quad HD resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate which is also available on the Razer Phone.

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The brains of Project Linda is the Razer Phone, which already has some of the best specs on the market right now. With the Snapdragon 835 chipset, along with 8GB of RAM. Which is plenty to run on a desktop experience – considering the Snapdragon 835 is running Windows 10 on some PCs right now. We did get a chance to use Project Linda for a short bit of time, and it worked well. This was a prototype, so it did sometimes crash – actually it crashed quite a bit on a couple of the demos, but again it's a prototype so that is expected. But it's like using a Chromebook almost, but with plenty more power than most Chromebooks.

When it comes to ports, Razer is pretty minimal here, but didn't take away the headphone jack (so this could also be the biggest dongle ever, since the Razer Phone doesn't have a headphone jack). There is also a USB-C port and a USB-A port. So you can plug things in and use them with Project Linda. In fact, one of the demo's Razer showed us was playing games on Project Linda, through the power of the Razer Phone, using one of Razer's mice. It worked pretty well, very little lag with the mouse at all, which is definitely good to see.

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Placing the Razer Phone into Project Linda is pretty simple. There is an eject/dock button in the upper right-hand corner. Press that button and it will either extend the USB-C port or retract it to take the phone out. You'll want to make sure you have the Razer Phone in correctly, and all the way down, otherwise the USB-C port won't go into the phone correctly. Now Razer did mention that if you put the Phone in backwards and try to dock it, Project Linda will still push out the USB-C port. That is something they want to fix, where it'll either tell you on the phone that it is in backwards or just not try to dock the phone. Underneath the phone, there is a nice padded area to keep the Razer Phone from getting scratched when docked in place.

Currently, Razer does not have a planned launch date for Project Linda, and that is because it is a prototype, so it's still far off from launching or being available. that means there's also no pricing available. But expect it to be a bit more expensive than other docks. This is because, this comes with a screen, keyboard and basically a full laptop experience, where as solutions like Samsung Dex is just a dock, and you still need to supply the monitor/display, keyboard and mouse.