We’re seeing the beginning of a trend towards “dumb” clamshell laptops that offer monitor, keyboard and mouse/trackpad support for a connected Windows 10 smartphone (see: HP, Nexdock), but Acer has a unique spin on the concept.
Liquid Extend...To Any Laptop
Casually mentioned and then quickly passed over at its NYC event today, Acer is employing software called Liquid Extend. Instead of selling an actual laptop shell with its Liquid Jade Primo Windows 10 smartphone, the software allows the Primo to essentially take over any compatible laptop.
The system needs only a USB Type-C port with video, as well as Windows 10 as the OS. When connected, the Primo (equipped with Microsoft’s Continuum technology) displays and scales its content on the laptop’s screen, and you can use the laptop’s keyboard and touchpad for input. The phone display also doubles as a touchpad, if you need it.
We currently do not have any further details on the technology. Liquid Extend functionality is coming to the Primo, but we don’t know yet if it will be baked into any other Acer smartphones.
The phone-as-lightweight-PC paradigm is an intriguing one, especially as smartphones increase in power and price, and Acer’s approach here is unique. Where HP positions its Elite X3 smartphone as the heart of an essentially modular productivity system that includes a display dock and the dumb laptop clamshell, Acer sees its Primo as a roving system--a part of a whole wherein the display and input portions are sort of terminals dotting the home and workplace, but the core of the system is on your pocket.
That’s not to say that the Primo won’t have its own peripherals. After flip-flopping, Acer announced that the Primo will indeed ship with a wireless mouse and keyboard. There’s also a dock available for connecting to a monitor (and other, wired peripherals and storage if you so desire).
The Primo, incidentally, may use a cooling solution that's similar to the just-announced Switch 12 Alpha.
Acer also announced a new smartphone, the Liquid Zest Plus. The company didn't say much about it, but we do have some basic specs:
|Header Cell - Column 0||Acer Liquid Zest Plus|
|Display||5.5-inch HD w/ Zero Air Gap|
|Cameras||-Front: 5MP wide angle-Rear: 13MP w/ laser focus, PDAF|
|Dimensions||154.3 x 77.4 x 9.75 mm|