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The Superbook adds a secondary display to your Surface

The Superbook is a $99 laptop shell that lets users connect their Android phones and have a Continuum-like experience. The device offers DisplayLink support as well, allowing you to use it as a secondary display for the Surface Pro 4 or any other Windows tablet.

The Superbook features a 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 display, trackpad and keyboard, along with USB-C and microUSB connectors.

Here's the Superbook in action:

If you're interested, the Superbook is available on Kickstarter for $99, with deliveries going out from January 2017.

See at Kickstarter

51 Comments
  • Does this work with hp 'superphone' or just Androids?
  • Yes, for both....hopefully. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • For half the price of 'superphone' alone one can get this Superbook and premium phone with premium build & premium camera though. SoC and screen being same. Windows tax is quite high nowadays while OS is free.
  • what premium phone with premium build and premium camera is $250 unsubsidized that isn't already a couple years old?
  • 399$ https://www.zteusa.com/axon-7 Yes a bit more than half but just a bit :)
  • You're looking at closer to 75% of the price, not 50%. Cheaper yes. But as i think should be abundantly clear, this has a lot less momentum than Continuum. Continuum will more than likely have a larger audience than this Superbook will. So, if you think developers ignore Windows because of its audience, why would an Android developer go out of their way to support this? Because yes, you need to code in support for your app to run in it. So yeah, you can get a cheaper phone, but it's still subjective as to the build quality, moreover, the screen is fairly larger and that does increase price on its own generally, plus a larger battery. On top of that, you have the brand name tax. So, on its own, I don't think this pricing seems ridiculous. You could also compare to the Axon to other Android phones and make them look overpriced. So in all honesty, I'm really grasping at why make this comparison at all?
  • What makes you say that? This works using DisplayLink drivers which are available for Android, but not Windows Mobile or iOS. It works with the Surface for that very reason. DisplayLink is a video over USB technology. I use a DisplayLink driven Asus USB monitor on my Surface all the time, but it requires the DisplayLink driver be installed.
  • Asked them directly. They said no, does not support windows continuum for phones. I asked why, let's see if they answer
  • The why is interesting, since they support USB-C with displayport it should just work with continuum. Unless they activly prevent it. But then you would not expect it to work as external display for the Surface Pro either. PLease keep us informed about the response :)
  • This was their response:
    Long story short, Windows phones aren't manufactured with the correct chip to be compatible with the Superbook. Interestingly enough, their tablets, such as the Surface Pro, are compatible!
    I dunno.  Doesn't seem to make sense to me.  Would like to know more tech details.  Because I've even tried generic USB-c to video adapters and they all seem to work plug and play.  
  • Seems weird to me as well... 
  • Doesn't seem weird. Displaylink is a video over USB technology that has been around for a while. Continuum and USB C natively support HDMI. They aren't coming off the DisplayPort on the Surface, but off the USB. You need the DisplayLink drivers on the device for this to work. That exists for Android, Windows, but not Windows Mobile.
  • No it will not. I contacted the people behind Superbook and aksed them if it would support Continuum: Will Superbook support Continuum? Will I be able to use it for my Lumia 950 or my Elite 3x? How does Superbook compare to competing products, like the HP Elite Lap Dock, the NexDock and the Livi-design Casetop? This was their response: Hi Bart! The Superbook doesn't support Windows phones, only Android phones. Between us and our competitors, we think that we're the most affordable, accessible, and comprehensive solution. We support the Google Playstore (not all of our competitors do), our Kickstarter price is $99, and installing us is really simple since our software is just an app that runs on top of the Android OS (we don't ask you to flash your ROM). There's no deep technical knowledge needed, and so we hope to reach broader audiences!
  • Nice!
  • That was fast, and it pretty much nails it. Much better than having a separate dock, a keyboard and a monitor. Only the screen is pathetic, room for improvement.
  • If it works with the wp like the 950 etc great otherwise meh! Just develop a portable extra monitor.
  • Anyone knows for a dump touch screen that works perfectly with Lumia 950XL in continuum with usb c connection?
  • MS is still working on getting touch screens to work with Continuum on phones.
  • I can connect my phone 950xl to a tablet with latest redstone build and it already supports the tablets touchscreen...
  • Yup, this was a feature they said would be in the Anniversary Update. Glad to see it made it!
  • Nice, looking forward to testing it out when the official Anniversary Update is out.
  • That is pretty damn cool for a mobile setup! I'm going to look into this for myself!
  • What a coincidence! I just mentioned the Superbook on your forum, as an alternative to the HP Elite 3x lap dock. My post also mentions the NexDock and the Casetop, competing products. Detailed Specs 11.6" LCD display at 768p 7.6" x 11.3" x 0.7" (19.3 cm x 28.7 cm x 1.8cm) 2.0lb / 0.9kg Custom Charging Port w/ Standard US Charger USB Type-C port Supports Type-C and Micro-B smartphones 8+ hour battery life Simultaneously charges smartphone QWERTY keyboard (Android OS layout) Android-specific navigation keys (Home, Back, Menu, Recent) Multi-touch trackpad Smartphone Minimum Requirements Android 5.0+ Dual Core Processor and above 1.5GB RAM or higher Type-C or Micro-B phone port 25mb of free storage (100mb+ recommended)  
  • But, wait wait wait ... If i understand it well, this Andromium is like a chromebook just by plugging your phone to a monitor right ? It give you a full computer-like experience, with multitasking, multi-windows and with all the google apps available. De facto, this is a direct competitor for Continuum... and from my point of view, this Andromium looks better than Continuum (on the paper at least) This video is just impressive for a beta product : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQm8ax6hsiE
  • All apps need to be re-compiled with the Andromium SDK included (and i'd assume at least some level of coding is involved) to be able to run properly in the Andromium environment. This is going to hit the same issue as continuum in that developers need to include access. However, there's a much greater audience for Continuum than Andromium. I mean, think about it. What do you think has higher sales Continuum-enabled phones or this particular device alone. Without a big name backer, it may not get huge traction.
  • However, there's a much greater audience for Continuum than Andromium. I mean, think about it. What do you think has higher sales Continuum-enabled phones or this particular device alone. Without a big name backer, it may not get huge traction.
    The Superbook is only a dock. It simply provides screen, touchpad, keyboard, USB ports, etc. for your phone. They key to the whole thing is their app, which is already available and can be used in conjuction with casting to another screen. It can be used on pretty much any device on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher. Based on this, I would say that at the moment at least there is a much greater audience potential for Androimium than Continuum.
  • That's assuming Andromium gets downloaded a few million times. That's a *huge* assumption.
  • and windows fanboys are assuming that MS sells a few million continuum units...Highly unlikely as well!
  • It only has a 1366 x 768 display. I would find that unusable. Even the 800 vertical resolution on lower-end systems (1280x800) is insufficient to always fit a simple window on the screen, 768 just ensures a horrible experience. At that resolution basic dialog windows will often be larger than the whole screen. I don't understand how people can use these. And if this is to pair with a phone, how can anyone tolerate not just a lower dot pitch (PPI), but an actual lower resolution? I know different people have different preferences, but this is one that's just inconceivable to me. It's like getting an old 7" B&W tube TV for your family room.
  • Apparently 1080p is + 30$.
  • Fair point -- so there's probably a market for these based on the lower price. I just really don't understand how anyone can actually use that. I know people do, some without even complaining. :-) It's just amazing to me. A 768 display on anything larger than a phone would be useless to me and therefore seems like it's worth about $0 (same as the 7" B&W tube TV), so at $99, I think it's overpriced. I'm so glad smartphones and computers like the Surface have finally gotten people looking for higher resolutions so other manufacturers are offering more and more good options now. I had a 1600x1200 Dell laptop (~14" I think) that I bought around 2002. At the time, I just assumed that screen resolutions, like RAM and HD space, would continue to increase. Here we are, almost 15 years later announcing a lower resolution display...
  • VAIO just announced W10 laptop, 15.5", 1366 x 768, Celeron CPU. 650$ VAIO C15. http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/7/26/12283780/vaio-c15-specs...
  • Saying these are unusable sounds rediculous. At work I have a 19" screen at ~90 ppi, a 15" screen at~150, and both are quite usable.  This 11.6 is at ~130ppi, and it would be plenty for 98% of people using a laptop. Can people tell the difference between 130 ppi vs 190 ppi (1080 disp.) at the 18-24 inch viewing distance they would be using it at? about 50% can. It just doesn't matter.  It is plenty for office work, internet, video, pretty much anything Your 15 year old laptop with a 1600x1200 display I would guess was priced above $1500 at the time. Announcing a brand new 1280x760 display/keyboard/dock for only $150 this year, I'd say things are advancing quite nicely.
  • @SlideWRX, for me it's not the PPI (though higher is better until it really starts to drag down performance or battery life, as of Windows 8, where Microsoft finally worked out how to properly support high-DPI displays), it's the amount of information you can fit on the screen without dragging or scrolling the window. At anything below about 1,000 pixels, even at 100% scale, native resolution, you can't even fit a full system dialog window on the screen. As far as I'm concerned, that means the OS is basically unusable. I'm not entirely serious in saying that I think it's worth $0, and I realize plenty of people use this stuff, but I truly do not understand how any PC or laptop user can tolerate needing to scroll to just look at a short e-mail or a 1-page Word document. That just seems (my opinion), like a tortuous way to work. It's one thing on a phone, where you are completely sacrificing everything for pocket-mobility, but on a laptop with a comparatively huge screen, why!? Yeah, you're right on the price. Don't recall exactly, but definitely on the high-end for a Dell of the day. By the way, does the WRX in your name refer to the car? I ask, because I drove WRXs from 2002 - 2015. Probably my favorite car. If you factor in price, definitely my favorite car. By my wife's urging, I've moved to a more family-friendly car. I've done my best to keep the performance, but I don't think any automatic transmission can ever really match the thrill and performance, on and off-road, of the WRX.
  • Why is there no delete function? Wasn't meant to reply to a comment.
  • There used to be, but not anymore. Go to the Windows Central UserVoice page to vote on bringing that feature back.
  • Just deleted one. Works fine. WP8.1
  • interesting that you deleted the one that had a comment showing your reasoning to be unsound.
  • I deleted my comment saying comments can be deleted. It had comments saying comments can't be deleted. Apparently all child comments go as well, wasn't deleting them on purpose as I can only delete my own comments. What else can one do to prove that comments can be deleted than delete a comment?
  • If you're new to crowdfunding do some research about crowdfunding and the fraud frequency before supporting a project.
  • This "dock" is identical to the Asus X205TA. It's EXACTLY the same dimensions, chassi, placement of buttons and ports, everything except the Asus logo.
  • I tried to insert two images so you can compare yourself but they don't show. Do a Google image search for "Asus EeeBook X205TA gold" and see for yourself. The tech press needs to stop promoting all these fraudelent crowdfunding campaigns.
  • having the same chassis doesn't mean everything on the inside is the same. it's nowhere near verification of it being fraudulent. Even if the hardware is the same on the inside, the software running on top of it, plus its overall purpose are worlds apart.
  • Having the exact same chassi, which clearly follows Asus' design language, would be copyright violation if anything. Asus is no no-name brand, they would never "outsource" their design like this. Of course you do what you want with your money, but to me this is very suspicious and I think people should know about it.
  • Hello mertzi, could you ask Harish Jonnalagadda for a comment on this ?
  • https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B013XFJKGI/ref=sr_pogo_pc_display_on_webs... It's a little more money, but I use this as a secondary monitor for my Surface Pro 4, and it's very nice. Also, when used with the SP4, it doesn't require any external power supply. No phone support, though.
  • Nice find! Wish there was a touch screen version though.
  • Will this work with compute stick??
  • continuum for Android. Haha. Where are all the android haters now?
  • What is quite ironic is the fact that most if not alll android phones can do it. Only a few windows phone devices take advantage of continium
  • About the Superbook: I contacted the people behind Superbook and aksed them if it would support Continuum: Will Superbook support Continuum? Will I be able to use it for my Lumia 950 or my Elite 3x? How does Superbook compare to competing products, like the HP Elite Lap Dock, the NexDock and the Livi-design Casetop? This was their response:   Hi Bart! The Superbook doesn't support Windows phones, only Android phones. Between us and our competitors, we think that we're the most affordable, accessible, and comprehensive solution. We support the Google Playstore (not all of our competitors do), our Kickstarter price is $99, and installing us is really simple since our software is just an app that runs on top of the Android OS (we don't ask you to flash your ROM). There's no deep technical knowledge needed, and so we hope to reach broader audiences!