updated 05:10 pm EST, Wed February 9, 2011
ATT says Atrix 4G notebook dock tablet priced
AT&T today made an unusual defense of its decision to charge $500 for the Atrix 4G's notebook dock. Mobile Products VP Mike Woodward said the price was "not that expensive" compared to that of a tablet like the iPad as it provided as many features and could even compete with some computers. He further told Forbes that the bundle, which gave both an Atrix and the dock for the same price as the dock by itself, was almost like buying two devices at once.
"With all the integration between the phone and the dock, you can do more on an Atrix than you can on a netbook," Woodward explained. "Other devices that try to do this just give you 'mirror mode.'"
The claims have been challenged since the notebook dock itself is entirely dependent on the phone to work where a tablet can work autonomously. To get the Atrix and dock in a bundle needs a two-year contract where a $500 tablet such as Apple's can be had without any commitment. A basic netbook also typically costs $300 and would provide a full desktop OS in an independent device, albeit with lower visual performance.
Its features are nonetheless more than with typical smartphones. Most devices with HDMI out, or the VGA out of the current iPad, simply clone the view out to a larger screen and then only in some circumstances. The platform is also more consistent for those who might want the same content on a notebook-like experience as on the phone.