I Bought a NexDock: The World’s Most Affordable “Laptop”

I really need to stop visiting Indiegogo…..

First it was the pi-topCEED and now it’s this. Initially I was torn between buying the CEED or the NexDock. After much deliberation I pulled the trigger and put down 134 US greenbacks on pi-top’s new product (read about that here). Days passed and the Nexdock was still on my mind, every few hours I would revisit the campaign page and watch as the backing options quickly ran out. Eventually I gave in, unfortunately by that time the only option left was the $119 dollar perk, the $79 and $99 dollar options were long bought out. So if everything goes as planned there should be a review of the Nexdock coming up sometime in June of 2016.

WHAT IS A NEXDOCK?

The NexDock is basically just a laptop chassis equipped with a keyboard, track-pad, some I/O ports, a 3.8V 10AH Li-ion battery and a 14.1” monitor. Bring your own single board computer or a mobile device with continuumm capabilities and you are ready to go.

The current NexDock Prototype from the Indiegogo campaign page

The current NexDock Prototype from the Indiegogo campaign page

Their current prototype looks a lot like the MacBook Air, and that’s not in any way a bad thing. The layout is simplistic but has everything you would need for everyday computing. Currently the system is equipped with 2 USB ports (I could not find what version), a mini-HDMI port (for display input), TF card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, webcam, and a 14.1 inch 1366 X 768 screen. Your external computer can communicate with the NexDock’s input devices via Bluetooth 4.0 or through a hardwire USB connection. Depending on the amount of funding the campaign receives, a USB-C port could also be added and with even more support they might also throw in a higher resolution screen (of course there is no guarantee they will hit that mark).

Prototype production

Prototype production

Close-up

Close-up

Obviously since I backed it I really like the idea. With the ability to be used with almost any single board computer on the market you have a very wide upgrade path. Velcro a Raspberry PI, Intel computer stick, android mini PC, or anything else of the like to the back and you have yourself a fully functional laptop for under 200 bucks. Of course you can also use a continuumm device as well which they are really pushing with this product. When it’s time to upgrade there is no need to buy a whole new laptop, simply slap on a new board to the back and you are in business. If you are using it with continuumm then you will have a new computing experience every time you upgrade your mobile device.

The Dock has other uses besides just being an ultra portable laptop. You can use it as a mobile external / secondary monitor, a feature which I will be taking full advantage of when I am forced to edit videos on the go. It can also be used as a stand alone external keyboard and / or trackpad. Built in speakers make it a convenient portable bluetooth audio device. The Indiegogo page even has videos of it being used as an external monitor for an Android phone and a secondary monitor for iphone air play dual screen games.

Currently the campaign is 43% funded with 1,266 backers and 14 days left to go. Just like the CEED this product has many possibilities and is something that I could see fitting into my daily work-flow. They definitely have a chance at making this happen but of course they need your support. You can check out their Indigogo campaign here and website here.

Here are the actual specs (I copied them directly from their site)

Dimensions & weight:  351 mm x 233 mm x 20 mm, 1490 gr
Display: 14.1 inch 1366*768 TN Screen with 16:9 display ratio
Keyboard and Touchpad: Bluetooth class 4.0
Battery:  Li-ion battery, 3.8V / 10000mAh
HDMI port:  mini HDMI
Connectivity: 2x USB port, 1 x TF card slot, 1 x 3.5mm headphone port, built-in dual speakers (NexDock works as expansion dock when connected via USB)
Power:  DC 3.5mm 5V/2.5 A

THEIR VIDEO SHOULD GIVE YOU A BETTER IDEA OF WHAT EXACTLY IT IS

 

UPDATE 3/27/2016

NexDock has published a video on Vimeo (found here) giving us a closer look at one of their prototypes working with the Raspberry Pi3.

UPDATE 4/08/2016

-They did it!  Their $300,000 goal has just been met!

They did it!

They did it!

7 Comments

  1. Lizzy

    I like it, cool idea. Very green to, all the e-waste from people’s ‘old’ but perfectly working laptops. Looking at you apple

    Reply
    1. Braxton (Post author)

      Yup! It will be nice to just swap out SBCs instead of tossing the entire laptop away.

      Reply
  2. Brassy

    Oh it’s Braxton, he’s the one! He makes computers so much fun!

    Reply
    1. Braxton (Post author)

      Yes, yes I do.

      Reply
  3. Hendrix

    Web rumors telling this is a scam campaign, what about it ? I like the concept but the product is far from being a good product. It does not integrate the MHL or DP Protocole in the dock.

    Reply
    1. Braxton (Post author)

      I have seen a couple people saying that with no evidence to back the claim up. I highly doubt this campaign is a scam. With the amount of media coverage they have had and the fact that they have met personally with Indiegogo makes it highly unlikely. They have also demonstrated working prototypes which further puts my concerns at ease. I may be wrong, and they may be a scam, but once again I do not believe they are. Where did you see / read that this campaign was a scam? I would really like to read the article that is freaking everyone out……

      Yes, I agree. The NexDock still has a way to go before it is perfect, hopefully each version will introduce new features to the point where it has something for everyone. I think even this first production has quite a few use cases though.

      Reply
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