Quite a few human beings, especially freelance writers inclusive of myself, have lengthy used our smartphones as secondary computer systems — I estimate that greater than half of the lots of labor emails despatched in 2016 had been typed on a cellular device. Heck, I’ve even published a Forbes submit completely on a smartphone. Darbi
But Samsung is taking the phone-as-computer issue to another stage with Dex, a US$150 dock that turns the Galaxy S8/S8+ into a totally useful PC (even though some 0.33 birthday party sites, like Mobile Fun, are promoting it at inexpensive at US$a hundred thirty).
To get started out, you will want the Dex, a Galaxy S8/S8+, a TV or display that supports HDMI enter, an HDMI cable (no longer covered in the Dex bundle), a USB-C energy supply for the Dex (essentially a charger for the S8), a mouse and keyboard. So if you’re retaining tune at home it is 5 extra portions you’ll want. If you’re the use of a stressed out keyboard and mouse, you will need two USB-A ports, which the Dex offers at the back of the tool (at the side of an Ethernet port). I opted for my Dell Bluetooth mouse/keyboard combo that handiest needs one USB dongle.
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The first time you plug within 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 bottom of is a “dock” with some of your apps, and scrolling through them brings about this Mac-like animation wherein the highlighted app grows in length. The app tray is positioned at the left corner, in which the Windows “begin” button could be. Whatever custom launcher/app icon you’ve selected in your S8 disappears here — the computer makes use of Samsung’s inventory icons and look.
Most third birthday party apps you open might be mobile variations of the apps — that means it opens as a small vertical rectangle — but some, like Gmail, seem to had been optimized, ensuring in a much wider box that indicates an additional plane of records. Samsung’s own apps, together with calendar, and internet browser, have been optimized for the big screen revel in. Most app windows can be resized or moved around the laptop.
When I’m using the S8 as a smartphone I use Chrome instead of Samsung’s own net browser, however on the Dex, it is really worth sticking with Samsung’s very own. It’s faster and smoother, and hundreds of web pages in the desktop layout in preference to the cell. I opened masses of apps, together with the Forbes CMS on which I’m penning this proper now, with none issues. The web surfing enjoy on the Dex is by and large impressive, besides it does not assist Flash, so a few pages won’t load.
Because the Dex is simply your cell phone strolling on a display/TV, you could of direction ship messages like Whatsapp direct from a computer. You may even make calls. But the Dex dock covers the S8’s headphone jack, so you’ll pair the device to a Bluetooth speaker or simply deal with truly crappy sound out of the S8’s mediocre single speaker.
I am on the fourth day of the usage of the Dex as a computer, having written a couple of movie critiques and currently this post, and the general experience is a nice Marvel. The S8 by some means runs smoother as a computer than as a smartphone (that is laggy and slower than, say, the OnePlus 3T or Huawei Mate 9 Pro), but in the end, it can’t evaluate to the usage of an excellent laptop.
There are a few no longer-so-minor insects right now that ought to be fixed with time. The Spotify app will now not run, and you cannot reproduction text off the Gmail app. It hasn’t gotten in the way of my paintings revel in but, but if these bugs are still there a month later, that’ll be any other story.
Overall, the Dex works as marketed. The S8 can certainly be a work laptop, as a minimum for newshounds and writers. If I become, say, a picture dressmaker or video editor, then the Dex would not fare as well. But the massive query is, will we really need this aspect? As referred to earlier, you want a keyboard and mouse to run the Dex, and if you personal a keyboard which means you already personal a PC. So below what circumstances could you want the Dex? The most effective one I can consider is in case you’re a enterprise traveler and you like to travel very, very mild — the S8, Dex, a small keyboard, mouse, and HDMI cable is all you would want to paintings on the lodge (you’d have to use the motel TV as display).
Right now I see it as a fun little toy to reveal off the S8’s powers. But howdy, it really is the type of what people who purchase the Galaxy S8 desires, due to the fact as I’ve written earlier than, the S8 is a laggy-as-hell smartphone it really is more fragile than different gadgets. You’re no longer buying the S8 because it’s the fastest cell phone or maximum functional smartphone. You’re buying it because you like to mess around with cool tech toys. And the Dex is a rattling cool one at that.