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Turn your Android phone into a laptop with a pi-top

By Andrew Webb on Oct 29, 2018 5:30:18 AM

Topics: Projects Technology Hardware laptop mobile

We love it when people hack and mod pi-tops in ways we hadn't even thought about, and this one is a beauty!

Rob Knight owns and operates www.losingthewires.com, a technology consulting service specialising in remote working, mobility, BYOD, and smartphones. A self-confessed tinkerer and tech enthusiast, he's found a way to remove the Raspberry Pi from a pi-top, and attach readily available components to access the desktop mode in Android phones. 

Using your mobile as a desktop with a pi-top

Rob's mod works on Samsung S8, S9, Note 8, Note 9 with Samsung DeX or Huawei Mate 10 Pro, P20 or P20 Pro with EMUI Easy Projection.

The death of the desktop

Despite tweets like this one, the stats don't lie. Website access via desktops is continuing to be overtaken by access via mobile devices. But perhaps more than that, the nature of work done on devices is changing, as tasks move from being essentially clerical in nature to content creation and curation. And that doesn't just mean Instagramming shots of smashed avocado on toast. Last year, Samsung won a £210m contract with UK police and paramedics to supply them with toughened smartphones.

It's scenarios like this, where staff might want a pocket device in the field, with the option to connect that to a full-size screen and keyboard back at base, that Rob's hack demonstrates. As smartphones become more powerful and IT departments look to save money, there's a strong case for users bringing their own device to the party. Now, there are some security concerns granted, but soon we may only have to carry one device around, leaving our keyboard and screen on our desk.



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