Brooks Benefiel’s Piggyback Tablet is a three-in-one concept that could render purchasing individual tablets and netbooks unnecessary.
The Piggyback Tablet concept uses a smartphone to power a tablet and netbook computer. While Motorola’s Atrix 4G smartphone has an optional laptop dock, the phone only becomes a netbook when plugged in, whereas when plugged into the Piggyback, the phone becomes both a tablet and a netbook. The Piggyback contains three different pieces, including the smartphone, tablet-sized display and keyboard. When the smartphone is clipped onto the display, the device becomes a tablet. When the keyboard is attached to the tablet, a netbook is created.
The tablet and netbook run off the smartphone. An advantage to the design is that if you want a larger screen, instead of buying a tablet, you can simply plug your smartphone into the Piggyback. If you want to type out a report, you just slot in the keyboard. Another advantage to the Piggyback is it eliminates the need to upgrade your tablet and netbook every time a newer version comes out; you just update your smartphone. Since the tablet and netbook run on the docked smartphone, with each new smartphone you buy you’ll also be increasing your tablet’s performance at the same time.
Additionally, such a device could help reduce the amount of e-waste disposed of each year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 150 million CPUs, monitors, netbooks, keyboards and other hardware are thrown away each year. Over 120 million cellphones are thrown away each year.
Not to mention it would be cheaper to purchase one item instead of two. Potential concerns include that the combination of the phone and netbook might pale in comparison to the speed and functions of a real laptop. As well, certain phones, like the Atrix 4G itself, are designed to be used with touch screens, which might make the switch to keyboard slightly awkward.
We’ll see if the Piggyback Tablet concept gets picked up. Maybe Motorola will take the Atrix 4G one step further.