Quite some human beings, especially freelance writers together with myself, have lengthy used our smartphones as secondary computer systems — I estimate that extra than half of the thousands of work emails sent in 2016 had been typed on a cellular tool. Heck, I’ve even published a Forbes publish completely on a smartphone.
But Samsung is taking the smartphone-as-laptop issue to some other level with Dex, a US$one hundred fifty dock that turns the Galaxy S8/S8+ into a totally useful computer (although a few 0.33 birthday party websites, like Mobile Fun, are selling it at cheaper at US$130).
To get commenced, you will need the Dex, a Galaxy S8/S8+, a TV or reveal that supports HDMI enter, an HDMI cable (not covered inside the Dex package), a USB-C strength source for the Dex (essentially a charger for the S8), a mouse and keyboard. So if you’re preserving track at home this is 5 extra pieces you will want. If you are the user of a wired keyboard and mouse, you’ll need USB-A ports, which the Dex provides in the back of the tool (along with an Ethernet port). I opted for my Dell Bluetooth mouse/keyboard blend that only needs one USB dongle.
The first time you plug in the S8 the Dex will manual you thru a quick set-up, and after that, you will be taken to a laptop set-up that resembles a regular Mac computing device. At the lowest of is a “dock” with a number of your apps, and scrolling thru them brings approximately this Mac-like animation wherein the highlighted app grows in size. The app tray is located at the left corner, in which the Windows “begin” button could be. Whatever custom launcher/app icon you’ve got selected in your S8 disappears here — the desktop uses Samsung’s inventory icons and appearance.
The set-up screen. Ben Sin
The set-up display screen.
The Samsung Dex computing device, as explained by way of Samsung. Samsung
The Samsung Dex laptop, as defined by means of Samsung.
Most 0.33 party apps you open may be mobile versions of the apps — meaning it opens as a small vertical rectangle — however some, like Gmail, seem to had been optimized, ensuring in a much broader box that suggests an additional aircraft of facts. Samsung’s very own apps, including calendar, and net browser, were optimized for the massive display enjoy. Most app home windows can be resized or moved across the computing device.
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Here is a video of me the use of the Dex:
When I’m the use of the S8 as a cell phone I use Chrome as opposed to Samsung’s very own net browser, however, at the Dex, it’s worth sticking with Samsung’s personal. It’s faster and smoother, and masses web pages in laptop format as opposed to mobile. I opened lots of apps, such as the Forbes CMS on which I’m scripting this right now, with none problems. The internet surfing experience on the Dex is generally impressive, except it doesn’t assist Flash, so some pages won’t load.
Because the Dex is simply your smartphone going for walks on a display/TV, you could, of course, ship messages like Whatsapp direct from a computer. You can even make calls. But the Dex dock covers the S8’s headphone jack so that you’ll have to pair the tool to a Bluetooth speaker or simply deal with sincerely crappy sound out of the S8’s mediocre unmarried speaker.
The Dex. Ben Sin
Side view of the Dex. Samsung
Side view of the Dex.
Opening a couple of home windows particularly did not gradual the S8/Dex down. Samsung
Opening a couple of home windows exceedingly did not gradual the S8/Dex down.
I am at the fourth day of the use of the Dex as a computer, having written more than one movie reviews and currently, this put up, and the general experience is a nice Marvel. The S8 come what may run smoother as a laptop than as a smartphone (which is laggy and slower than, say, the OnePlus 3T or Huawei Mate nine Pro), but in the long run, it cannot compare to the use of an excellent desktop.
There are a few now not-so-minor insects right now that have to be fixed with time. The Spotify app will no longer run, and also you cannot copy the textual content of the Gmail app. It hasn’t gotten in the way of my paintings experience but, but if those bugs are nonetheless there a month later, that’ll be every other tale.
Overall, the Dex works as marketed. The S8 can indeed be a work PC, at the least for journalists and writers. If I changed into, say, a photo dressmaker or video editor, then the Dex wouldn’t fare as properly. But the big question is, will we really need this thing? As stated earlier, you need a keyboard and mouse to run the Dex, and if you very own a keyboard which means you already personal a laptop. So under what circumstances would you want the Dex? The handiest one I can think of is in case you’re a business visitor and you like to travel very, very light — the S8, Dex, a small keyboard, mouse, and HDMI cable is all you would want to paintings on the hotel (you’ll have to use the lodge TV as display).
Right now I see it as a fun little toy to expose off the S8’s powers. But hi there, it is a form of what individuals who purchase the Galaxy S8 desires, due to the fact as I’ve written earlier than, the S8 is a laggy-as-hell smartphone that is greater fragile than different gadgets. You’re not shopping for the S8 because it’s the quickest smartphone or maximum functional smartphone. You’re buying it due to the fact you like to play around with cool tech toys. And the Dex is a damn cool one at that.