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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bionic Lapdock under ICS: No volume control and some other observations...

While it isn't stellar, the experience that I've had with my new Bionic Lapdock under ICS has been pretty good with a couple of exceptions:

The volume control is stuck as 3/4 and cannot be controlled by the volume control on either the Lapdock or by the Bionic's volume control.
The slider is displayed and moves, but there is no change in level until you turn it down all the way, then it turns off entirely.
Headphones or an external speaker plugged into the Bionic's headphone jack work perfectly. No problems plugging into the Bionic directly for audio.
Otherwise the speakers are about as tinny and awful sounding as I've ever heard on a device of this type. Not good for multimedia at all, but adequate for other uses.

This is known, but the trackpad is frustratingly bad. A bluetooth or wired mouse is a necessity for serious use, although I haven't tried a wired mouse with it yet.

The screen is actually pretty darn nice, with good brightness and color.

Webtop 3.0 is the saving grace that came too late unfortunately, but it is still a usable environment and one that more wisely harnesses the power of the Android OS. (as it really should have been from the beginning, IMO)

Overall the Droid Bionic Lapdock is useable, but the thought of having to plug in an external speaker and use a BT mouse definitely pushes the convenience factor more squarely into the laptop category, which I suppose it should given the form factor, but limits how well the Lapdock can be used spontaneously.

I was also able to use a 1TB external hard drive formatted Fat32 plugged into one of the the Lapdock's USB ports to play media files; however, it appeared that the videos are not playing at the full frame rate, which was distracting. Media played from on board the Bionic played perfectly.

What IS neat is that these things are so inexpensive that I don't have any problem whatsoever taking my Lapdock into situations where I'd rather not expose my comparatively expensive Android tablet to risk of damage but I'd have my phone along anyway, such as off-roading in my Jeep.

I have yet to try it, but I imagine locally stored maps combined with the Bionic's GPS would make for a decent enough enhanced GPS experience.

The Bionic Lapdock is also the biggest, coolest phone charger ever.

It's a bummer that more attention wasn't paid to these accessories, but the mobile sphere is changing at a lighting pace.
It's inevitable that concepts like this will sprout up, but ultimately get left behind as the segment evolves.

Addendum (veering somewhat off topic):

Personally I have an interest in hardware hacking, so it is likely that I will be exploring the Bionic Lapdock's potential in this area as well.

When you look at the Lapdock from a hardware perspective it's a very low-cost self-powered HDMI monitor attached to a USB audio system, hub, keyboard, and trackpad in a compact, portable form factor.
YouTube already has some videos of folks attaching tiny computers like the Raspberry Pi and various Android systems like the MK802/Mk808 to the Lapdock as well.

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Old October 29th, 2012, 05:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have the HD dock for my television, the volume is the same way using the remote. The slider moves with no effect on the volume till it get all the way down.

Also, if playing music through the television while working on something else, the audio quality degrades after a couple of minutes.

If playing music through bluetooth headohones (While phone is in webtop mode in the dock) and you walk away to take a leak and grab a beer, the phone screen goes to sleep and cuts the music off.

I personaly like webtop 2.0 myself.

P.S. I to got a 1tb external hardrive running in the HD dock in both gb and ICS. I had to buy a powered usb hub though to make it work cuz the docking station doesn't have enough power.

By the way, if you value webtop, take real good care of that phone of yours, because motorola is talking about scrapping the webtop concept on future devices...
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Old October 29th, 2012, 06:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Let me start by saying I really like my lapdocks. I have both the 100 and the Bionic lapdock that I got on the closeout sales. Now with ICS they are just about as fast as my laptop when on wifi or 4g. 3g is a little laggy but entirely usable. I heard a lot of negatives about the lapdock on ICS before the OTA but have found that it is a great improvement! I have easily worked around not having the Firefox browser. ICS has cleared up some of the little quirks I had with the lapdocks with GB. The trackpad I have no problem with. I changed the mouse speed and the trackpad works just fine. I use a USB mouse anyway since I do not like trackpads on anything.

That being said, the only real issue I have with the Bionic lapdoc is the volume control. You cannot control it; it is either off completely or wide open. This is really not a big issue for me since the volume and quality of the speakers is usually so low that I use headphones when watching a video anyway.

All in all this is a great little device. It comes in handy especially in times like these with a hurricane bearing down on us with possible power outages with no wifi. I just plug in my Bionic on 4g and have internet when a lot others don't!
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Old October 29th, 2012, 08:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip on adjusting the mouse pointer speed!
That has helped trackpad usage quite a bit, although I agree that I would rather use a mouse any day.

I'm currently shopping around for a small single-piece external speaker to plug into the headphone jack of the Bionic to skirt the volume control issue, but those types of tiny speakers generally don't sound good either.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I found a cheap little speaker at Walmart for about $15 that I use with my lapdock once in a while. It has a rechargeable internal battery that charges off USB and lasts more than 8 hours. It's not Bose but sounds pretty good for most stuff.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 05:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default some additional infomation...

I've been reading around the web concerning our issues and doing a little tinkering of my own.

Concerning the audio problem, I've learned that by going into "settings"-"sound" and scrolling down to "audio routing" that "Phone speaker" can be selected, which is then controllable via the keyboard controls.
The Bionic's speaker doesn't sound all that bad compared to uncontrolled full-volume Lapdock speakers!

Incidentally, when running like this I found that I had to switch back to "HDMI audio" to use my bluetooth speaker system.
Volume controls are all fully functional using bluetooth.
(awesome side note: BT audio lag is almost non-existent under ICS, making it possible to watch videos with audio connected to a bluetooth audio device like external speakers)

I switched from using a Dell Bluetooth Travel Mouse to using a Logitech NX80 with a dedicated wireless dongle that's plugged into one of the Lapdock's USB ports.
The mouse connects instantly when my Bionic is docked.
This also keeps me from having to switch on bluetooth when I dock, since the mouse stays with the Lapdock anyway.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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On my Lapdock 100 ... I have no issues with either controlling the volume nor using the trackpad.

I use either the default home launcher or Apex launcher.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 03:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes.
Its a Bionic Lapdock specific issue.
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When the Motorola Droid Bionic was first announced at CES 2011, it featured a 4.3-inch qHD display, NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz, and support for Verizon's 4G LTE high-speed network. After the handset was delayed, Motorola... Read More



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