The Superbook turns your Android phone into a laptop computer

Want to type on a full-size keyboard and play mobile games on a big screen? Here's the gadget you need

So, a new laptop…

Not exactly. The Superbook is more like a peripheral for your smartphone.

But it looks like a laptop!

Yeah, because the idea is that it takes the power of your Android phone, and bolts on a bigger screen and full QWERTY keyboard. Simply put, it lets you temporarily transform your smartphone into a laptop computer with a multi-touch trackpad and 10-hour battery life. Oh, and it weighs less than a kilo, so it’s no big deal to lug round all day.

How does it work?

USB! You plug your phone into one of the Superbook’s USB ports (it has both full-size and Type-C inputs), and your files and apps will be accessible straight away. You can open apps, write emails or play games on the Superbook’s 11.6in 768p screen.

Basically, it’s another way of using your Android phone. It connects to the Internet, networks and other devices by piggybacking on your phone’s data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It even has special Android-specific keys for Home, Back, Menu and Recent, just like an Android phone or tablet.

What sort of phone do I need?

Its makers say it’ll work with any device running Android 5.0 with at least a dual-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 25MB of free storage space and USB-OTG capabilities. That includes the vast majority of phones launched in the past couple of years. It’ll also work with Windows tablets and laptops, PC sticks and Macs – albeit only as a secondary display, not a fully compatible device.

So how do I get one?

It’s a Kickstarter project at the moment and the makers say the first run is scheduled to ship in February 2017. Fortunately, it's been funded so you can buy one when it becomes available next year.