The medical world is rife with security issues: Network break-ins, HIPAA, and corporate encryption problems. Lost laptops can mean lost medical records and—worst of all—lost privacy for victims.

Despite this, busy healthcare professionals need fast, portable devices to get their work done. Home health nurses and traveling psychologists, for instance, must hop from house to house to check in on patients. Doctors care for numerous patients scattered around large medical centers. And occupational, physical therapists and interpreters are booked throughout the day.

Enter the Superbook. The Superbook is a plug-and-play laptop shell that converts Android smartphones into a complete laptop with a desktop experience. The laptop shell’s large screen, keyboard, and trackpad lasts for more than 8 hours.

Superbook by Andromium
Superbook by Andromium

This attractive, sleek device sports a full keyboard, a large screen, a trackpad, and—best of all—runs Android apps within windows and a desktop, not unlike traditional operating systems like Windows and Mac OS. And the smartphone can still be used to take photos with its camera and take video calls.

The Superbook just launched on Kickstarter this month for $99 per unit and has, as of this writing, received 15X its initial backing price of $50,000. The units will ship out by January.

A laptop for $99 is unheard of. So, how did they get it for such a low price?

By leveraging your smartphone’s capabilities and processing power,” the team states, “we are able to leave out the unnecessary components of a laptop that are already in your smartphone, thus keeping production costs low.

The most fascinating thing about this device is that the Superbook emulates a full laptop experience. Phone applications show up in windows. It is powered by a freely-available app, the Andromium app, that has been in the works for years, and runs all of the existing Google Play Store and existing Android apps.

Superbook uses your phone's wifi, bluetooth, and dataAnd, from a techie’s perspective, this is the ultimate, secure convenient laptop. If the laptop gets stolen, no precious data is taken! In fact, it’s the most convenient laptop since all documents, apps, and connectivity functions run off of the smartphone hardware. I would image that health system information technology teams would find this very attractive.

How would you use a device like this? Let us know in the comments below!

Specs and Features of the Superbook
  • 11.6″ LCD HD display
  • Multi-touch trackpad
  • 8+ hours of battery life
  • Type-C and Micro-A USB Compatible
  • Charges the smartphone simultaneously
  • Universal compatibility across all modern Android smartphones
  • Keyboard with Android Navigation Keys and Shortcuts Support
  • Support for Google Play Store and millions of Android apps
  • Open Andromium SDK for Android apps
Steven Chan, MD, MBA (@StevenChanMD)
Dr. Chan is a Clinical Informatics fellow at UC San Francisco (UCSF)'s Division of Hospital Medicine, serving as editorial boardmember for the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Mental Health, and develops cutting-edge research in the areas of digital mental health, with applications for cultural psychiatry and underserved minority health. Steve's ideas, thoughts, and research have been featured in JAMA, Healthcare, JMIR (Journal of Medical Internet Research), Wired, PBS, and NPR Ideastream. Steve serves as Vice Chair for the Workgroup on Mental Health & Psychiatric Apps at the American Psychiatric Association (APA), a part of the Committee on Mental Health Information Technology.


  1. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful article with us. These electronic gadgets have changed the way we live drastically.

  2. In our day to days life, we are totally covered up with the electronic gadgets, in between those, laptop and the smartphone are the exclusive one, As with the help of both, we can browse anything, and go with the different type of activities.

  3. Like a lot of Kickstarter wonderful ideas, they’ve just postponed the delivery – again. Now it’s June! I’m guessing we’ll never see this product from this team. I’m finished with giving Kickstarter projects any more money.


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