Hands On - NexDock Continuum Device


Last month we introduced you to NexDock, a device that looks like a laptop but only has a keyboard, trackpad, screen, battery and ports for connecting devices.

No CPU, No RAM, No Hard Drive.

Just the electronics to connect to other computing devices and a massive 10,000 mAh battery.

It was built on the premise that users with devices that support Windows 10 Continuum, such as the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, plus other small form factor computers like the Raspberry Pi, Android, PCs on a Stick can power the clamshell device and give you portable computing experience without the cost of a fully capable laptop.

It can also serve as a second screen for your laptop when you need that extra space for productivity.

The device will have a suggested retail pricing of $149.

In our initial coverage of the device we provided you all the specs so I will not repeat them here but yesterday I got to sit down with two of the three team members behind NexDock and actually try out a prototype. I walked away really hoping they hit their $300,000 fund raising goal because I want one of these today!

They have had an interesting 6 weeks since they launched their campaign for NexDock and have been contacted by and visited with several companies such as Ubuntu, Raspberry Pi and Maru OS (Continuum for Android). There are even a couple of companies that can not be mentioned by name that have gotten up close and personal with NexDock as well.

Their funding campaign still has about 18 days left and already has 1,858 backers which has raised almost $244,000 dollars so far. So they are close to reaching their fixed funding goal of $300,000 and told me they think it will be very close.  When asked if IndieGoGo would give them an additional extension as they did a couple of weeks ago I was told that that is unlikely due to IndieGoGo rules.

Some readers questioned why the NexDock team was on IndieGoGo instead of Kickstarter and felt that the NexDock folks might have been rejected from Kickstarter but I learned that is not the case.

It was a strategic decision to get their campaign up and running the week before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as rumors were circulating that a big company was going to unveil a similar Continuum style device for a new Windows 10 Mobile handset.

Another question that popped up about NexDock was why didn't the device connect using the USB Type C port to push audio and video in one channel.

This was another strategic decision to use what is a popular laptop clamshell design in China and avoid significant die re-tooling costs to change the port lineup.

Currently, using the Lumia 950 for example, you use a converter from USB Type C to Micro-HDMI for video and then Bluetooth to connect to the NexDock keyboard and trackpad. The team is looking down the road and know that using the single channel Type C connector is an important upgrade when possible.

Getting the benefit of meeting the NexDock team in person and seeing NexDock in real life has really cemented my decision to be one of their first backers.

If you want to learn more about their campaign and participate in getting it fully funded then visit their IndieGoGo page to learn more, see all their updates and a number of videos showing off the device with various small form factor computers and smartphones.


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