For when tablets and phones need a larger screen but no monitor or TV is availableThe LightPad G1 dock demonstrated at CES 2012 is a fairly inventive way to transform a phone or tablet into a laptop, so to speak.
Yet another less than ordinary gadget has made its appearance at this year's CES trade show, only this one qualifies more as an accessory.
LightPad is the one that made the so-called G1 tablet and smartphone dock.
It is easy to see that this is not just any keyboard dock, but one that may very well turn the slate/phone into a sort of laptop.
This is because the Bluetooth keyboard case has an 11-inch plastic projection screen and, of course, a projector to actually create the images.
The phone or slate just needs to be linked to the dock via MHL or HDMI (Bluetooth can't handle the streaming, apparently, but it does maintain the keyboard link).
That done, the projector produces an image in just the right size for e-mails and simple web browsing.
Alas, the dock won't win any image quality prizes, as the resolution is fairly low (854 x 480 pixels).
That is not surprising: pico projectors have a hard enough time being so small even without trying to reach HD resolutions.
The fact that projectors aren't exactly famous for running cool doesn't help much either.
On the flip side, it is possible to turn the projector around and cast the image on the wall, in a diagonal of up to 60 inches.
The dock is said to be very light and can fold into itself, so it is easy to carry around in a briefcase or small bags/backpacks.
Unfortunately, anyone interested in getting one of these LightPad G1 docks will have to wait for a few months.
Availability is only scheduled for the second quarter of the year (2012).The price is unknown at this time.