Picture of The Raspberry Pi - Lapdock Connection
Now that you have your nifty new Raspberry Pi, you'll need a display for
it. Teensy analog monitors are pretty cheap, but what you really want is a
decent HDMI display. Unfortunately, they're expensive, running from
$150 on up into the thousands for the huge ones. But, for about $75
(or even as low as $40, used, on eBay) you can get a discontinued
model of the notorious Motorola Atrix Lapdock, the one that sold for
$500 a couple of years back, and it was a bargain at that price. The
lapdock incorporates a razor-sharp 11" HDMI display, an almost-adequate
keyboard-with-trackpad, twin speakers, and a high-capacity battery --
all in a thin two-pound package.

The Atrix Lapdock was manufactured to mechanically connect with the
now-discontinued Motorola Atrix smartphone, in effect turning it into a
laptop computer. The lapdock has two plugs on a foldout hinge -- a male
micro-HDMI plug and a male micro-USB-A plug. These neatly mate with
an Atrix phone, slipping right into appropriately positioned jacks on the side of the phone.
Fortunately for us, the lapdock's USB and HDMI ports are electrically
standard, even if the physical connectors aren't. If we could just find the
correct cables and adapters, we might be able to hook up our Raspberry Pi.
Maybe. Hopefully. . . .

Yes, it can indeed be done!

for example.

In this Instructable I will break down the process in detail, with
appropriate explanation and close-up pictures.

RohanP1 made it!4 months ago
It was very simple!
mohammed.wilders.5 made it!6 months ago

I have just made one. I am using the Raspberry pi 2. I could still use the raspberry pi 2 with the usb cable of the lapdock, without performance issues yet. But that could be because I didn't do any intensive tasks (yet).

lapdock raspberry.jpg

I'd like to upgrade to the Pi 2 aswell, but the power consumption is a concern for me aswell.

Have you found any problem since your oiginal post?

I have installed retropie on it which is using a lot of CPU/GPU power and also overclocked it to its maximum, but didn't find any problems yet.

thegrendel (author)  discountrobot.5 months ago
Recently bought a Pi 2, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Getting mine in the mail tomorrow. Gonna report here if there are significant power issues.

MoTinkerGNome made it!8 months ago

I did it. One thing to note with the B+ is that you kind of have to jump start it using a 5v signal. on the power jack before it can backfeed the Pi. Once the pi is running you can remove power as long as the main USB connection is made.

I am not all that concerned with the remote possibility of the Pi getting damaged via 5v through the USB bus. If i let the smoke out then woops I wont do that again...

thegrendel (author)  MoTinkerGNome8 months ago
Thanks for the info on the B+. Watch that smoke business, though.
prtsn9 months ago


I have problem with the lapdock, I am using alternative hdmi adapter and micro usb female to usb male adapter to power up. When i power up using rasp pi or rikomagic or normal pc (using extra usb otg ) i get blank screen with little white background for 10 secs and powers off. But still the keyboard will be working for some time. I have tried many ways of connecting with multiple adapters but still i am facing this issue, could you please help me on this? Also the lapdock 100 connectors I am using is wire based and not rotation based ones.

thegrendel (author)  prtsn9 months ago
Some HDMI adapters are incompatible and will not work with the lapdock. I've run into this myself.
prtsn thegrendel9 months ago

Thank you very much for your reply!!

You think the problem might be only because of HDMI adapters and not with the Lapdock itself? If so is there any way to test if Lapdock is working fine without the use of HDMI adapters?

davidbarcomb9 months ago

Very nice. Thank you for the instructable

thegrendel (author)  davidbarcomb9 months ago
You are very welcome. I hope it was helpful/inspiring to you.
cm155610 months ago

Hi! Hope you won't mind helping a non-techie. I have the Lapdock 100 and a Razr Maxx. The phone is dying so I'm wondering how I can use the lapdock with other phones, because the conversion to work with RPi is a little beyond me. First, what do each of the HDMI and USB do in transferring the phone functions to the lapdock? And how could I connect another phone to the lapdock to get the same functionality? cm1556@gmail.com

thegrendel (author)  cm155610 months ago
I have no experience with cell phone hardware, so regrettably I can't be of any help to you on this.
Crafterkid12311 months ago

how would i be able to hide the raspberry pi inside the laptop? also, does it power itself AND the pi? just wondering.

thegrendel (author)  Crafterkid12311 months ago
1) Can't hide it inside the Lapdock, as far as I can figure. Not enough room.

2) The Pi needs 500+ ma, and therefore its own power supply,
otherwise it will not operate reliably.

Thank you for this article. I like this project! http://www.einplatinencomputer.com/der-raspberry-pi-laptop/

thegrendel (author) 1 year ago
Sorry, but I'm not in a position to do this.
And, I'm not in Toronto.
dnicol11 year ago
Hey i am also in Toronto. Very cool projects you have. Would you be i nterested In a paid project? Need something done right away.
I just tried to build this combination of RasPi and Lapdock. Well, the RasPi boots, so it is getting enough power through usb. I do also see everything on the display.

But the keyboard and also the touchpad do not work. What may be the problem?
thegrendel (author)  yvandercoilden1 year ago

Check the USB adapter/cable.

will any of the other motorola lapdocks for other phones work with a raspberry pi? I'm looking at Droid Bionic and Droid RAZR Lapdocks on ebay, they appear to be much cheaper than the available atrix lapdocks.
Just got mine working ^_^
thegrendel (author)  Shantorian3d1 year ago
I'm glad I could be of help.
Good luck!
nerd74731 year ago
does anyone know the answer to this?

nerd74732 years ago
very cool you should make it to where the pi is protected so you can carry it around
sonicdude102 years ago
I'll be doing something like this but with one of those Android smart TV sticks instead. I've learned that some of the common sticks like the Rikomagic models will fit in place of the phone dock connector once the plastic is removed from inside the flap. this allows for better stability and the flap can stay closed for a more streamlined look. I may run Linux once I get it going.

I may make an Instructable for doing this. After all, those sticks are now quite powerful and still affordable. For $90 I can get a brand new model that has Wifi, Bluetooth, micro SD slot, 1.8GHz 4 core Cortex A9 CPU, 4 core Mali GPU at 533MHz, 2GB DDR3 RAM, Android 4.2.2, and other stuff. Should be quite speedy.

Some holes drilled in the docking flap where the PC guts lie to aid in cooling and I have a cheap Android laptop for my stuff.
thegrendel (author)  sonicdude102 years ago
Excellent. If I can inspire people such as yourself to do similar,
or better things than I did, then I consider my Instructable to
be a success. And, I strongly encourage you to document your project with an Instructable.
mringman2 years ago
Wasn't that. Finally just plugged a mini USB cable into a USB wall outlet and that made it work
mringman2 years ago
I am having trouble with getting the keyboard and trackpad to work. Suggestions for things to try?
thegrendel (author)  mringman2 years ago
Try a different USB adapter/cable.

See if the little light in the upper left hand corner of the trackpad
is on. If not, try tapping it to switch on trackpad and keyboard.
old_alex2 years ago
I have done this, as many have and it is very particular about the HDMI cable, you may want to boost the HDMI current in the config file if you have an issue with no video.

If you have a keyboard race condition it is most likely a power issue. Given the will use about 700 to 1000ma, your cable should be short with a high current. You can by a Y cable (blackberrry) to put power into two ports (more current mico usb and standard).

The HDMI to micro HDMI anc be finicky seat it properly. Power to the USB only happens if a "good" connection is detected. One hacker opened up the box and exposed the HDMI connector soldering his own cable.

The origional (not me) post was on Raspberry Pi Forum:


thegrendel (author)  old_alex2 years ago
"The HDMI to micro HDMI anc be finicky seat it properly. Power to the USB only happens if a "good" connection is detected. One hacker opened up the box and exposed the HDMI connector soldering his own cable. "

A valid point. The HDMI connection is absolutely critical.
kokid992 years ago
This isnt really an original design, Adafruit had done this design first........ Originality please?
thegrendel (author)  kokid992 years ago
I'm not claiming originality, whatever that means.
And in the last step of this Instructable I have a partial list of URLs
of others who have done this project before me. I will note, though,
that I haven't been able to find another Instructable dealing with
this particular project.

And Adafruit was not the first to do it, either.
The Adafruit method of hooking up involves soldering,
and in any case, the methodology is confined to a youtube video.
I've done it in more detail, and with close-up pics.

Kid, there's nothing at all wrong with multiple persons submitting
the same or a similar project. It give you alternate ways of doing it
and alternate points of view on technique.