Quite some people, in particular, freelance writers such as myself, have lengthy used our smartphones as secondary computer systems — I estimate that extra than half of-of the heaps of labor emails sent in 2016 were typed on a cellular tool. Heck, I’ve even published a Forbes put up completely on a telephone. But Samsung is taking the smartphone-as-laptop issue to another degree with Dex, a US$150 dock that turns the Galaxy S8/S8+ into a fully-functional PC (though some 0.33 celebration sites, like Mobile Fun, are selling it at inexpensive at US$130).
To get started, you will need the Dex, a Galaxy S8/S8+, a TV or display that supports HDMI input, an HDMI cable (now not blanketed in the Dex bundle), a USB-C power source for the Dex (basically a charger for the S8), a mouse and keyboard. So in case you’re preserving music at domestic, these are 5 extra pieces you will need. If you are the user of a stressed-out keyboard and mouse, you’ll want two USB-A ports, which the Dex gives at the back of the tool (in conjunction with an Ethernet port). I opted for my Dell Bluetooth mouse/keyboard combo that most effective wishes one USB dongle.
The first time you plug inside the S8, the Dex will manual you via a quick set-up, and after that, you will be taken to a computing device set-up that resembles a normal Mac computer. At the bottom is a “dock” with some of your apps, and scrolling thru them brings about this Mac-like animation in which the highlighted app grows in size. The app tray is located on the left nook, wherein the Windows “start” button would be. Whatever custom launcher/app icon you have selected on your S8 disappears right here — the desktop makes use of Samsung’s stock icons and appearance.
Most 1/3 party apps you open could be mobile versions of the apps — meaning it opens as a small vertical rectangle — but some, like Gmail, appear to have been optimized, resulting in a wider box that suggests an extra aircraft of facts. Samsung’s very own apps, including calendar and net browsers, were optimized for the massive screen experience. Most app home windows may be resized or moved across the computing device.
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When I’m using the S8 as a smartphone, I use Chrome rather than Samsung’s personal internet browser, but at the Dex, it’s well worth sticking with Samsung’s very own. It’s faster and smoother, and hundreds of webpages in laptop layout in place of a cell. I opened plenty of apps, inclusive of the Forbes CMS on which I’m writing this proper now, with no problems. The internet surfing revel in at the Dex is outstanding; besides, it would not support Flash, so a few pages won’t load.
Because the Dex is just your phone walking on a monitor/TV, you could send messages like Whatsapp direct from desktop. You can even make calls. But the Dex dock covers the S8’s headphone jack so that you’ll need to pair the device to a Bluetooth speaker or just address, in reality, crappy sound out of the S8’s mediocre single speaker. On the fourth day of using the Dex as a laptop, I am having written multiple film evaluations, and currently, this submit, and the general enjoyment is a pleasing marvel. The S8 by hook or by crook runs smoother as a laptop than as a phone (that’s laggy and slower than, say, the OnePlus 3T or Huawei Mate 9 Pro); however, in the long run, it can’t compare to using a terrific laptop. There are some not-so-minor insects proper now that have to be constant with time. The Spotify app will no longer run, and you cannot copy text from the Gmail app. It hasn’t gotten inside the manner of my paintings enjoy yet; however, if these insects are still there a month later, that’ll be every other story.
Overall, the Dex works as marketed. The S8 can indeed be a piece PC, as a minimum for journalists and writers. If I changed into a photograph dressmaker or video editor, then the Dex would not fare as nicely. But the big question is, will we actually need this issue? As mentioned earlier, you want a keyboard and mouse to run the Dex, and if you very own a keyboard, that means you already own a PC. So underneath, what situations would you want the Dex? The most effective one I can think about is in case you’re a commercial enterprise visitor and you want to travel very, very mild — the S8, Dex, a small keyboard, mouse, and HDMI cable is all you’ll want to paintings at the motel (you would need to use the in TV as the show).
Right now, I see it as an amusing little toy to show off the S8’s powers. But hello, it’s the type of what folks that purchase the Galaxy S8 needs; due to the fact, as I’ve written before, the S8 is a laggy-as-hell cell phone, it really is greater fragile than other devices. You’re not buying the S8 because it’s the quickest phone or most purposeful phone. You’re buying it due to the fact you like to mess around with cool tech toys. And the Dex is a rattling cool one at that.