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Insert Coin: $250 Casetop turns your smartphone into a laptop (video)

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In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

We keep hearing about how handheld devices are replacing laptops, so how about doing it literally? Casetop just launched a laptop-style dock on Kickstarter that you can plug your smartphone into, turning it into the processor, graphics engine and trackpad of a "laptop." In return, the dock will give you an 11.1-inch 720p display, full-sized keyboard, stereo speakers, HDMI input, MHL video input, dual-mode MicroUSB, audio output and "always-powered" USB for charging other devices. Unlike similar offerings such as the still-unshipped Clambook (or Motorola's ill-fated Lapdock) the Casebook uses the handset as a trackpad, and the creators say that it won't be device-specific, working instead with a large number of smartphones from Apple, Blackberry, Samsung and others. Of course, it needs to meet the lofty $300,000 funding goal for all that to happen, but if you're optimistic, hit the source to plop down your $250 minimum pledge.

Previous project update: It looks like people really like the idea of attaching binoculars to their smartphones, as Snapzoom has snapped up almost $70,000, easily surpassing its $55,000 target with 23 days still left.

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