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DEX dock from an old Thinkpad

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DEX dock from an old Thinkpad

#1 Post by vavet » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:39 am

Few days ago I tried connecting my Huawei mate 10 pro to a screen via type-c to hdmi adapter.
I was surprised how cool was the desktop experience. It really acts as a desktop, quite similar to cromeOS. The phone becomes a touchpad and you can add a keyboard through BT or if you have a type-c dock then even a usb connection is possible. Plus the docks have the possibility to charge the phone at the same time.

So what about taking an old TP shell with screen and modify it to serve as a dock similar to the one razer presented for its razerphone?

The challenges are:

1. screen -> there are plenty of controller boards available that will make any laptop lcd work with HDMI, plus they require 5v power input which means that an integrated power bank should be enough.

2. keyboard -> this is the hardest part. As I wasn't able to find a source for usb (or BT) controller for a TP keyboard, I might opt for a third party BT keyboard such as Rapoo e6100 which matches the width of t60/1 or a BT keyboard for tablets to fit into the x60/1 shell. I have also an original TP usb keyboard that perfectly fits 4:3 t60/1. But I am hesitant to tear it apart as it is difficult to find and quite dear to me :) .

3. mouse/trackpoint/touchpad -> the first obvious solution here is to make a hole in the palmrest to put the phone inside and use it as a touchpad. The second option would be to keep dedicated touchpad/trackpoint and connect the phome via a cable or keep it in a side drawer (where the hdd or cd rom drive bay is).

4. battery -> the best solution would be to modify a TP battery with a controller board from a standard powerbank with 18650 cells and use the same battery pins for connection. The charge port can be made on the battery body. The second easy option would be placing a thin powerbank inside the shell itself. The combination of both is also possible.

5. connectivity -> some docks have LAN, USB ports and cardreader on them, so theoretically it is possible to bring these ports to the corresponding places on the shell.

Please correct me if I have missed something. Looking forward to hear your thoughts.
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Re: DEX dock from an old Thinkpad

#2 Post by kfzhu1229 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:00 pm

It sounds cool, but if you think of it you might just as well use a working ThinkPad along with your Huawei device and probably do software mirroring if you really want your phone screen to be on your laptop.
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Re: DEX dock from an old Thinkpad

#3 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:24 pm

Just buy an Atrix 4G dock. Use a USB-C to Mini HDMI and you have a keyboard, screen, and battery all integrated into a small formfactor. Sure it's not a Thinkpads but thinkpads are for getting work done, not dally wandering on an oversized cellphone.

Whatever it takes to swap the RPi here with your phone, do that.
https://blog.adafruit.com/2012/09/05/ma ... ock-video/
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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