May 03 AT 5:25 PM Taylor Wimberly 26 Comments

Turn your Android smartphone into a laptop with Casetop


Livi Design believes their new Casetop project is “one of the most important technological devices since the iPhone.” We wouldn’t go that far, but their gadget that turns almost any smartphone into a laptop is still a pretty cool idea. We have seen this concept before with Motorola’s Lapdock (which didn’t sell very well), but it’s still nice to see someone pushing this type of device foward.

The Casetop is compatible with any smartphone that has a video out option and bluetooth. They use standardized ports such as HDMI, MHL and MicroUSB for displaying video and Bluetooth for keyboard and mouse connectivity. The current prototype features a 10-inch 720p display, but Livi Design hopes to upgrade that to a 1080p display by launch and possibly add a touch screen if they hit their stretch funding goal.

If you are interested in funding the Casetop then you can head over to Kickstarter and make your pledge. For $250 you can enjoy the full Casetop experience, but let’s not forget to point out you can pick up a Chromebook for as low as $199.

Check out the video below for a preview of the Casetop and visit the source links for the full details.

Via: Kickstarter

Source: Casetop

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • cb2000a

    Okay,,,it’s a nice concept, BUT,,,having that phone in front of the computer is going to make it awkward to type on…how about a slide out on the side?

    • GUI_Center

      That is exactly what my first thought was.

    • Pete

      Just think of it as the tracking pad on a laptop.

      Saves using a mouse and in actual fact makes it the same as a laptop.

    • Xallies

      guys it’s a touchpad much like a mouse don’t on laptops have that?

    • Brian Bentsen

      It’s a ridiculous design with that massive tray in front of the keyboard. Anyway, the concept is old and has already been demoed by Ubuntu, and probably by several others.

      • jaxidian

        Is the tray the only problem you have with it? Would it be better if the tray allowed the phone to actually be more of a securely “docked” touchpad that wouldn’t fall out if turned upside down or carried sideways like a book?

        They’re planning on doing that “frontbar” as well. They’re planning on offering a bajillion different frontbars from what you see to what I just described to a Miracast bar and more.

        Is that tray the only problem you have with it? If so, that’s likely not a permanent problem!

    • wind

    • Burnd

      The phone should be more on the middle, just like a trackpad on a laptop. Now you’ll accidentally touch it when typing.

  • Stella

    I like the idea but not the design of the Casetop. I prefer the design of the Motorola’s screen/keyboard for the Atrix phone.

  • dukenilnil

    Somebody help me here…
    300,000 kickstarter goal
    1000 units at 250 for 250,000 gross income
    = 50,000 in losses

    • jaxidian

      They’re not necessarily trying to make profit on the first batch. They’re just trying to cover most of their investment consts when ramping up to mass production. Their second/third batches are where their profits are. It’s kinda like if you deliver pizzas for your first job while you’re in high school. Delivering pizzas that first day is NOT going to pay for your car, even if it’s a junker. But if you did this, you’d be betting that it will over time. Same thing here.

  • yourissues

    Yeah it leaves the phone out… I thought it was going to slide back under the casetop, also if it’s supposed to be used as a track pad why not center it? Is there a HDD on it? If all it does it blow up my phone screen I’ll go get a PadFone as lest I can feel like a bad MOFO when I go from phone to tablet to laptop.

  • jmon

    this is a interesting idea but there are a few things about this that bothers me. the phone being a mousepad is an interesting an idea but its awkwardly placed on the right of the laptop. there is a reason why mousepads are closer to the middle on laptops because people tend to rest their wrist on the edge of the laptop while they type, avoiding the mousepad in the process. also laptops are meant to be placed on the lap and be portable, the expandable dock doesnt look sturdy enough to lock one’s phone in place when the laptop is lifted. it, also, doesnt have a base under the phone so if you do lift the laptop i will be worried the phone will drop. plus there is an exposed wire where the slot opens which could possibly get tangled in something or ripped accidently.

    • jaxidian

      There are two different “frontbars”. One has a bottom and one does not. So that’s not a problem. As for phone placement, I think you can slide it around (for better or for worse) to position it wherever. I’m pushing for a way to either securely “mount” the phone in the middle for a “touchpad bar” of sorts OR to simply have an enclosed bar with a bluetooth touchpad to make this 1) more like a laptop and 2) securely keep the phone inside.

    • VS

      My initial thought on design is that it might work better if you have an open gap on either the left or right hand side of the keyboard, having the keyboard being able to slide in either direction for lefties or righties. Brings the keyboard closer to the edge for a more natural typing experience and the phone could still be used as a track pad in spots where number keypads usually reside.

      But, in order to execute that, screen might have to go to 14-15″. Regardless, creative thinking for a prototype.

  • chestont

    I really like the idea and I can’t wait until we can use our quad-core powered phones to power larger peripherals such as laptops and tablets. I love the concept of using a phone as a touchpad but the issue with letting the phone sit in a corral like this is that it makes the use of this laptop on your physical lap extremely difficult. Love the concept though and I will definitely keep my eye on this.

  • JB

    I am still not sold on the idea of my phone being dedicated into one device whether it is a laptop or television set box. It needs the capability of still being a phone, to take the calls and text messages while it assists with other functions.

    • jaxidian

      They’ve actually said they plan on having a Miracast frontbar. What this means is that you could actually have your phone in your pocket while it powered this device!

  • donger

    Interesting concept indeed.

  • Sameer

    This is too much……:) . What a concept ! Interesting…

  • Xperia L
  • Bill Goodrich

    That is pretty cool. I like the thought of the miracast setup, so the phone doesn’t actually have to sit in the front. It could be anywhere. Even if I wanted to use my phone as the touchpad, it could be off to the side and I could be closer to the keyboard that way.

  • John Patrick

    I like the idea. I currently have a retired Bionic and a Moto Lapdock (bought when xzw hosed them out for under 48 bucks). Since the Jelly Bean update it’s now an 11 inch JB Tablet with a keyboard. I wish the phone didn’t stick out the back though. That’s why the casetop seams appealing. This appears to be a prototype, so maybe the ‘phone as trackpad’ issues will be reworked I’d like to see a snap on panel that fits over the phone ‘bay’ that centers the phone and exposes lust the screen, if nothing else.

  • kinderdm

    I like the idea of this especially since it would eliminate syncing issues between two devices but with chrome books cheaper than this I just don’t see getting one of these over a chrome book. At maybe half the price it would be attractive to me.

  • aranea

    This is already tried by motorola as the dock for atrix and failed. I don’t see how this can succeed without offering anything new. Also I bet carriers will force you to buy a tethering plan just like atrix dock making it even unlikely to succeed.

    Don’t get me wrong. I believe there is a good design out there to use our phones as more than phones but the dock is not one of them.

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