Lapdock (for a mobile desktop experience and more!)

Please, do consider a lapdock and/or the possibility to use the Framework Laptop components (display, keyboard, touchpad, etc, aside from CPU) powered by an Android (capable) phone via USC C Type-C 3.2, with a built-in stand and cables. Thanks!

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That would definitely be interesting, and we hope that someone can come in and develop a custom mainboard module to enable that. Our model of modularity certainly makes it technically possible.

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Damn, that’s a usecase I didn’t even think about, but it would indeed be possible! From what I can see in teardowns of the original Lapbook, the PCB inside it should fit into the Framework, all you’d need to make is an adapter/carrier PCB.

Sounds like an awesome project indeed!

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Just a thought, if we had a hdmi capture expansion card, wouldn’t it be possible in software?

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@Matt1 Nice, that’s quite the idea! The dongle in the thread you linked seems quite compact already:

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But it’s probably still quite a bit bigger than what would fit into an expansion module. Maybe it could be optimised a little more.

One additional thing you also need would be a USB Host-to-host bridge where the keyboard and mouse input from the Laptop can be sent to the phone as if the laptop was itself a USB-Hub with a keyboard and a mouse. Not too difficult technologically, any small IC with USB device support will do.

I also think you wouldn’t want to use HDMI for this but USB-C so you can actually send keyboard and mouse signals to the Laptop, similar to how the Lapdock 2 does it:

Which would mean you need another IC for getting the display signal from the USB-C device.

So the BOM would be something like:

  • 2-Port USB-C DP-alternate capable Hub IC
  • 2 USB device-capable ICs
  • USB-C to DisplayPort IC
  • DisplayPort to MIPI IC
  • MIPI-Capable MCU for capture
  • All the passive support components

There may be some devices that incorporate multiple of these (MIPI and USB device ports seem the most obious), but it still seems quite hard to believe that all of this could fit into a single expansion module.

The only way it may be doable is to have a single, probably very beefy MCU that can handle the USB-C connection including DisplayPort in software, which is extremely difficult and time-intensive to write.

And then you’d still need to write the software on the actual PC, which of course has to be running, so you wouldn’t even get the same battery life.

It does sound like an awesome technical challenge and would be an amazing feature, but I’m not seeing it happen any time soon to be honest. Having a different motherboard inside seems much more attainable.

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Also check out the official Google USB docks: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/chrome-enterprise/introducing-works-with-chromebook-docking-stations They work with Mac and Windows too, so probably Linux as well(?).

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That seems like a really good idea. With this as one of the products i could imagine framework becoming a rival to the big 5

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