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CES 2009: Celio Beefs Up Redfly Smartphone Companion

Celio announced a new set of hardware and software products to enhance the usability of smartphones on the road. Its new docking station gives smartphones the ability to add a mouse, keyboard, and external display.
Celio announced a new set of hardware and software products to enhance the usability of smartphones on the road. Its new docking station gives smartphones the ability to add a mouse, keyboard, and external display.As much as mobile professionals would like to be able to leave their laptops behind, they often require the full computing power offered by real PCs.

Celio doesn't believe that philosophy. Its Redfly product mates with Windows Mobile smartphones and provides a large screen and full-sized keyboard to make interacting with smartphones easier and more computer-like.

Taking things to the next level, Celio is now offering more companion products to make smartphones even more capable mobile computing terminals.

Its new PC Software functions like a software version of the Smartphone Terminal to give a laptop or netbook an expanded resolution and full-screen view of a smartphone for a virtual dual-boot experience. The PC Software allows any Windows XP or Windows Vista user to have full-screen access to the smartphone and thus use a netbook with all available smartphone features and capabilities like a virtual dual-boot system by increasing the smartphone's output screen resolution up to 1024-by-728 pixels. That's pretty cool!

Next up is the new dock. The Redfly Smartphone Dock concept is a table-top adapter with VGA, mouse, and keyboard ports for smartphone applications. It enables projectors, office kiosks, and commercial applications to use any display, keyboard and mouse with just a smartphone. That's giving smartphones a lot more power.

These are great solutions for extending the capabilities of a smartphone, but I do have some issues with the whole thing. The Celio Redly may be smaller than many netbooks, but not by much. Netbooks offer full XP and Vista power, and have ports, keyboards, and docks built in.

Netbooks also are priced pretty low these days. If you count the cost of a smartphone and all the pieces of the Redfly companion products, you're probably looking at a similar out-of-pocket cost for all the hardware.

The bottom line is, be sure to really evaluate how you and your business may use these products and compare them with other solutions on the market.