Next Up for NexDock: Intel Compute Card To Go

Posted on January 17, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10, Windows Phones with 18 Comments

Next Up for NexDock: Intel Compute Card To Go

Last year, NexDock launched its first product, which turned stick and mini-PCs and even Windows 10 smartphones into a laptop. But now the company is jumping on board with the Intel Compute Card for an even svelter new NexDock device.

NexDock reached out to me today to let me know about its plans, which do indeed sound interesting. It also provided some information about the success of its first product, which raised $360,000 in crowdfunding and was delivered to over 3,000 customers in 60 countries around the world. (And did so despite a terrible factory fire.)

For 2017, NexDock will focus on the innovative new Intel Compute Card, on which Thurrott.com bestowed a Best of CES 2017 award.

“We are thrilled to announce that we started working on the new NexDock based on the just announced innovative Intel Compute Card,” NexDock’s Emre Kosmaz told me. “As one of Intel’s initial regional partners for the Intel Compute Card, the new NexDock will be the first docking unit that supports the Intel Compute Cards in 2-in-1 laptop form.”

Details are still a bit light, but here’s what we can expect:

  • Active cooling
  • Ergonomic design
  • Built-in kickstand
  • Interchangeable USB-C modules
  • Continued support for other device types, including Windows 10 smartphones with Continuum, Raspberry Pi, and more

NexDock expects to ship the new device sometime in mid-2017.

“NexDock is only the beginning of our vision,” I was told. “We plan on expanding the product range with additional NexDock models with variety of sizes and form factors. By separating processor and OS from the displays, we are hoping to start a paradigm shift in consumer electronics, which will enable less electronic waste for environment and longer lasting computers.”

 

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Next Up for NexDock: Intel Compute Card To Go”

  1. Avatar

    427

    I hate to be Tom Hanks from "Big", but frankly, "I don't get it."  Why would someone want this thing? Even if the compute card could be put into a tablet, laptop, and AIO shell. The only reason I could see anyone buying this along with the accessories is it's new, and possibly affordable?  Please seriously someone tell me why someone would purchase one of these over a tablet, laptop, AIO, and or a desktop.

    • Avatar

      1377

      In reply to awright18:

      I don't get it either since you'd need to carry the same number of things at about the same total weight as a phone plus either a tablet or an ultralight laptop, but if the phone breaks or its battery dies with no way to recharge, you're SOL compared to having another device which may still work.

      All the devices, all the weight, LESS redundancy: what's the advantage?

  2. Avatar

    5496

    I'd rather get a laptop. You can get a laptop for like $300 that will cost less then this.

     

  3. Avatar

    5361

    What may be better is a 65" 4k TV with this slot.  Put something like this on every TV I own and I can physically carry and plug this into any monitor. 

  4. Avatar

    5553

    Express card 2017

  5. Avatar

    6354

    I think one of the main advantages of this tech will be releasing TVs with a port for these so that it is easy to turn TVs into full Windows\Android systems using the least space and price possible.

    This form factor would also work great with how I foresee the future of wearable computers. Within the next few years (starting this year with Redstone 2 MA-USB support), I think we're about to see a tremendous improvement in wireless technology for USB-3, including wireless USB touchscreen displays.

    IMO, I think one of the best kind of wearables would be a small computer about the size of an old Sony Walkman, potentially running one of these cards and using inexpensive wireless touchscreens that can be set down and left anywhere without any chance of data loss, plus both the wearable device and the display would have batteries, thus increasing runtime, and it would allow many different form factors of screens, such as 5'2" and smaller that fit in a pocket or larger belt clip phone sized devices (then that would be mean wearing two belt clip devices for guys, while women use their purses), and some people would prefer a larger 12" tablet screen when at home while only using a smaller one while shopping.

    Such wearables would have practically zero chance of data loss, increased runtime, the ability to use the bathroom with it without setting down the expensive part of the computer that contains the data, and they'd make it possible to replace\buy screens for under $100 with economies of scale, while the main CPU portion can more reasonably cost more and perform better without worry about damage (from drops etc.), and such computers would enable the vision of shared kiosks people imagine with using phones that wirelessly dock at coffee shops, only I think these sort of devices would fit even better into that paradigm.

    I've been thinking that wearable form factor is what would be best for Windows to actually have a chance to dominate in cellular mobile, and although ARM support has been announced that eases Microsoft's move of full Windows to cellular mobile devices, I've been posting for the past year that I expect Intel isn't out of the game, and I think the battery life issues with Intel could be better worked through with a wearable clip-on PC, and the power profile of those devices would be able to support faster processors than a much thinner all-in-one phone device, plus it could comfortably have much more room for batteries and more easily accept hot-swapping with a bridge battery.

    Maybe the wearable could have a small secondary screen that is only used for emergencies and for phone use when the phone screen isn't in range. Anyhow, this new Intel form factor could be ideal for helping to effectively modularize the mobile PC, only it would be a part of an even more flexible and robust a modularization than what Google envisioned for an all-in-one phone device with Ara.

    Lenovo made a wireless Windows touchscreen in 2013 (performance of Miracast is meh though). What I'm describing is definitely possible, and soon it may actually get to the level of performance, compatibility, and reliability needed to where maybe all-in-one phones will be seen as less desirable due to slower performance, lower battery life, being much more expensive to damage due to being far more easily dropped, and the wireless screens would not contain any data, so such devices would be far more secure while allowing users to be careless with their wireless screens, and they'd be able to buy more screens very inexpensively; in time, maybe less than $50 for 5-8" screens and less than $100 for 10-12", maybe they'd even be sold at convenience stores.

    Here's a link to the Lenovo wireless touchscreen from 2013.  I'm envisioning better versions of screens such as these that connect to belt clip computers about the size of Sony Walkmans, where they can store 3-4 times the battery of a thin phone and potentially could be used directly as a phone too (though due to size, practical only when a smaller wireless USB screen isn't available).

    https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-ThinkVision-LT1423p-Touchscreen-Monitor/dp/B00GBJMZW0

  6. Avatar

    490

    It's too weird and different. If it can't be used stand alone then it will never appeal to a general consumer audience.

  7. Avatar

    5530

    wow, I actually think this makes more sense than a continuum dock laptop.

    • Avatar

      5539

      In reply to FalseAgent: I think it only makes sense if it does work as a legitimate Continuum dock. The original was anything but. You pretty much needed MSs Continuum Dock to hook it to a Windows Phone. I'd have bought one for fun if it had been considerably lighter, or had better battery life than just buying a laptop. This computcard thing assumes you have some other device that makes the computecard useful other than the lapdock. Otherwise you just have a laptop with removable guts. The Continuum promise is that your phone is completely usable on it's own. The lapdock adds functionality to my phone.

       

  8. Avatar

    505

    Some interesting video insights into the 'original' NexDock > NexDockUsers.com

  9. Avatar

    5234

    When they find out the restrictions of Intel's delivery of the Compute Card, they'll wish they never went this route.

  10. Avatar

    217

    Interesting idea, a modularization of the PC. I think it's a good strategy if it can somehow tie to a mobile device

  11. Avatar

    265

    I have the original NexDock (sitting at home inside a redwell envelope somewhere).   I can confirm that build quality was very poor.  But it was a first attempt and they had to overcome a calamitous fire, where lesser start-ups would have folded up.  NexDock instead came clean, fairly transparently, and ultimately delivered.  It was relatively cheap, and felt like cheap plastic and the edges were sharp rather than smooth.  It wasn't USB-C compatible, which was not helpful for use either with my Lumia 950-XL or my HP Elite x3.  But just today I got a "micro-usb-to-usb-c" adapter from Aukey so I am going to give the NexDock another shot.  It worked with my Android device, but the screen projection capabilities on the Android were poor.  

    FWIW, I am willing to give NexDock another shot if they come up with an interesting device.  I figure they've passed the crowd-funding and start-up tests and my sense is that they learned a lot and will improve going forward.   

  12. Avatar

    2371

    They need to have a way to use the NexDock as a secondary screen for a desktop, laptop, or 2-in-1 as well.  That way someone that is working in a lab can get supporting information and input data from where every they are in the room using a stylist or touch.  Maybe in conjunction with HoloLens.

  13. Avatar

    4295

    Hey Paul,

    Didn't you recently sell your original NexDock, and mention that the build quality was terrible?  I may be remembering wrong... Just wondering what your thoughts are on the original product, and if based on that you have any hopes of this being viable?

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