For those who don’t need their computer for much more than running a few apps, the Samsung DeX station released earlier this year ain’t a bad option; just dock your Galaxy S8, add a monitor, keyboard, and mouse and you’ve got yourself an instant sort-of desktop. The main issue, of course, is that if you are going to the trouble of supplying all of the necessary peripherals, why not just use a laptop, or even a real desktop computer?
Samsung is aiming to chip away at this argument with the DeX Pad, expected to be released some time next year along with the Galaxy S9. It’ll allow the phone itself to lie flat on the desk and act as keyboard/mouse, eliminating the need for these extra peripherals. The venerable Galaxy S8, by the way, should be compatible.
I can’t say I’d enjoy typing on a flat, smartphone-sized keyboard for any significant length of time, but I suppose it would do in a pinch. The bigger issue are the limitations of the phone as a desktop surrogate. Most of the basic computing functions you can do on a phone people already utilize just fine with a 6″ screen. And the things people can’t yet do on their phone, like graphic design, video editing, and higher-end gaming, still cannot be done by plugging it into a docking station.
I suspect that smartphones will someday soon be most peoples’ only computer… but for those of us who need the latest (or even near-latest) in computing power, that may never happen. And I’m okay with that.