A great many of us are walking around with a very powerful computer in our pocket: The smartphone. Today’s high-end models boast more CPU power than laptops, and many times more than a vintage super computer.
But no matter how powerful your smartphone is, it’s hard to harvests its potential for productivity. Today, the vast majority of smartphones are used as very, very efficient entertainment devices. I suspect that the main reason is that their screens are too small to be used efficiently for non-entertainment tasks that typically take more than 30 seconds to complete, like writing documents, computer programming, and creating presentations. All the tools to perform such tasks are in fact available for your smartphone, but using them is a pain.
The screen size problem is to a degree solved by tablets and phablets, the latter often accompanied by a stylus pen. But a high-end tabled and phablet will set you back as much as a high-end smartphone, and suddenly you’re walking around with two dreadfully expensive devices that only differ in screen size. Also, while a large screen is helpful, tablets and phablets lack one of the key1 productivity features: A physical keyboard.
What this basically means is that what you really need is a laptop. The powerful-and-productive-yet-still-mobile-device laptop segment is currently being filled by ultrabooks form-factor laptops: portable and powerful, with a large screen and a physical keyboard. But a high-end ultrabook is even more expensive than a state-of-the-art smartphone. So now you need to carry your precious smartphone, and the freakishly valuable ultrabook with you.
But what if it was possible to buy a cheap, ultrabook-sized computer shell with a large screen, and a physical keyboard? The shell comes with no hard drive, CPU, RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or any other of the usual ultrabook features, but simply connects to your smartphone over USB to utilize all its hardware and software. Andromium Inc. might have a solution for us. Let’s hear what Andrew Jiang, co-founder of Andromium Inc. has to say: