Similar to Motorola’s Lapdock accessory that converts any of the company’s Webtop-enabled Android smartphone into a lightweight protable netbook with an 11-inch screen, the LightPad concept gives users the transforming experience and even greater flexibility. Plug in a compatible smartphone, and LightPad will offer users a physical keyboard and a rear-projected 11-inch display in netbook format, like Motorola’s Lapdock accessory. However, where LightPad shines is that users can switch the rear-projected pico projector around and shine the projection onto a wall or screen to have a larger 60-inch image.
When compared to Motorola’s commercialized Lapdock, the LightPad offering does have several noteworthy drawbacks at this time.
First, the LightPad concept doesn’t offer users a trackpad. Though a nearly full-sized or full sized keyboard is part of the package, users may need to tap on their phones to control certain elements and resort to the keyboard for typing, presenting the total package as an incomplete netbook or laptop replacement.
Second, there’s no secondary OS like Webtop to take advantage of the extra screen real estate. LightPad merely just mirrors the display on the user’s phone.
And third, as the device uses a pico projector, brightness of the display may be an issue. When the rear-projected 11-inch laptop concept is being used, brightness will be less of an issue as the smaller screen can display brighter images. However, when projected to a larger screen–like a 50- or 60-inch display, brightness will be a bigger issue as a near-dark or completely darkened room will be needed to have a visible and clear projected image. Pico projectors lack the brightness that larger, bulkier projectors can afford because the total package comes in a smaller footprint and is often battery powered.
Also, it’s unclear if the LightPad concept will be able to simultaneously charge a user’s phone.
The LightPad concept is expected to be unveiled at CES 2012.
Video below: review of a different pico projector