One of the most exciting capabilities of the Motorola Atrix 4G is its ability to function like a full-fledged computer when snapped onto to its matching laptop dock. Try playing around with a demo model in an AT&T store, and you might notice the dock’s trackpad supporting multi-touch controls, letting you scroll in Firefox with two-fingered gestures. Early adopters who have taken an Atrix 4G laptop dock home are now reporting that what they got doesn’t match their in-store experiences, as the docks being sold apparently no longer feature multi-touch support.
The problem seems to be in the docks themselves, not in some phone configuration, as users on the XDA-Developers forum report that display model docks still support multi-touch when connected to the users’ own phones, yet the docks they were sold don’t. Until someone’s brave enough to do a tear-down on their dock, or we get a demo unit in order to take a better look at it, we can’t say for sure, but obviously something either on the hardware or software side has changed between production of the first round of docks and those that are actually going out for sale.
Motorola doesn’t claim that the docks do support multi-touch, but what is a user supposed to think when trying a unit out? It’s like a car dealer offering a test drive in a souped-up roadster, and then selling you the same car but with undeclared missing features. Sadly, this behavior from AT&T and Motorola isn’t exactly surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less distasteful.