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NexPhone concept: an Ubuntu-based, Android 'brain in your pocket'

Canonical generated significant excitement earlier this year when it announced its Ubuntu for Android plans, which included dockable smartphones that can launch the full Ubuntu Linux desktop.

No specific names were mentioned at the time regarding manufacturer partners, but recently a new concept project appeared that seeks to bring that vision to life.

Billed as "the smartphone that becomes a tablet, laptop, or PC," the NexPhone is now seeking funding on Indiegogo for a planned launch in 2013.

"NexPhone will be one single device that can be used at home, at the office, or on the road without the need of synchronizing content or contacts with other devices," explains NexCrea, the company behind the NexPhone. NexCrea is a subsidiary of VoIP provider Kosmaz Technologies.

PC, tablet, and laptop options

The vision is this: When connected to a monitor and a keyboard using a dedicated docking station, the NexPhone would provide a full desktop PC solution using Ubuntu for Android, complete with a full range of desktop applications including office, Web browsing, email, media, and messaging.

Docked to the NexTablet, meanwhile, the device, if built, will offer a larger touch screen for apps, e-books, magazines, and Web browsing. When docked, the tablet uses the phone service for Internet access, so only one data plan is required for both devices.

Then, too, there's the NexLaptop, which offers a full PC experience with a keyboard and track pad when the NexPhone is docked.

Last but not least, the wide-screen NexMonitor offers yet another office PC option complete with keyboard, number pad, and multitouch track pad.

'Brain in Your Pocket'

NexCrea says it's in contact with potential manufacturing partners in China, as well as with Canonical for software implementation. So far it has raised just $2,877 of the $950,000 being sought by Nov. 14.

Assuming funding is successful and all proceeds as planned, the NexPhone and NexDock will be priced at about $499; the NexTablet Dock will cost about $149; the NexLaptop Dock will be about $199; and the NexMonitor Dock with keyboard and trackpad will have an estimated price of $199.

"The 'brain in your pocket' concept is what people have been waiting for, and we envision a world where we carry only our smartphone and connect to any screen in the world to turn them into tablets, laptops, and PCs," NexCrea says.

We have, of course, already seen Motorola attempt something similar with the Atrix 4G, with only lukewarm success for the docking concept. What's your take? Is the NexPhone something you'd be interested in?

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