My mobile productivity dream is nearing a reality. I don’t want to have a desktop at the office, a laptop for client presentations, and a mobile device for when I am out and about. I want a single mobile device that I take everywhere and sync with productivity peripherals (read monitors, keyboard, and mouse) when required. As well, there is more than enough processing power in our smartphones for everyday tasks such as email, web browsing, and document creation. My desire is to be able to do all of this wirelessly. That isn’t quite ready today – but MHL is. To pull this off using MHL there is one cable involved – but there is actual a silver lining in there. But before we get into that what in the world is MHL?
MHL – A SILENT GAME CHANGER
Most people have never heard of it but will be really excited when they do. MHL has support from a consortium of industry leaders such as Nokia, Samsung, Silicon Image; Sony, and Toshiba. Not only does MHL enjoy concerted support from manufactures but it also leverages existing hardware, namely micro USB and HDMI. This equates into a low cost solution that is ready to rock with no hardware disruption. MHL gives you full HD video and digital audio, with up to 1080p/60 picture quality, and digital audio up to 192 kHz and is capable of delivering 7.1 channel surround sound. Couple this with a Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse and you’re able to be as productive as any laptop or desktop. Watch movies, play games, use front facing cameras for video conferencing, client presentations, write emails, etc!
ONE CABLE TO GO
Alas, there is a cable – albeit small – that you plug into your phone’s micro-USB port and the HDMI port of your tv/monitor. But, I did promise you a silver lining. Since the cable is leveraging the USB port on your phone it not only transmits the audio and video signal, but also charges your phone while doing so. This provides the ability to be connected for hours and not totally drain your phone’s battery. Even better, you phone will be totally charged when you are done! One last note on cables, if your HDMI capable TV doesn’t have native support for MHL – no problem – you can purchase a dongle for $29
Is your mobile screen too small? Would your 55” TV be enough for you? Want to try it out? Here are the current mobile devices that support MHL:
- Galaxy Nexus phone
- HTC Amaze 4G phone
- HTC Evo 3D phone
- HTC Flyer tablet
- HTC Rezound phone
- HTC Sensation phone
- HTC Sensation XE phone
- HTC Vivid phone
- LG Nitro HD mobile phone
- LG Optimus LTE mobile phone
- Meizu MX mobile phone
- Samsung Galaxy Note phone/tablet
- Samsung Galaxy S II phone
- Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet
- Samsung Infuse 4G phone (bundled with an MHL to HDMI adapter)
- Samsung TXT phone
While I wait for smartphones to include WiDi and give me the productivity bump I am looking for, MHL will give me an almost there kind of experience; a dry run for a mobile-only lifestyle.
Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of AdminBridge – providing IT Administration from mobile devices. For more information visit http://adminbridge.com