Samsung DeX Pad hands-on: new design, same core desktop experience
With the announcement of its new flagships at MWC 2018, the S9 and S9+, Samsung naturally introduced a brand-new PC-desktop accessory in the form of the DeX Pad. It's referred to as a pad this time around, as opposed to last year's DeX station, seeing that there's one practical new application that sums up the logical naming. We got to check it out first hand at Samsung's booth at Mobile World Congress!
Gone is the puck shaped design with last year's DeX Station, replaced instead with a dull, flat looking all-plastic construction. Some might not be happy with the design, since they might view it as a step backwards, especially when it no longer really shows off the phone in an upright position on a desk. But then again, there's a logical reasoning behind this that we'll explain in a bit. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are laid flat on top of the Pad, where it's tethered via the USB Type-C connection. On the back of the Pad, we a find few ports consisting of an HDMI, two USB-A 2.0 ports, and a USB-C charging port. Those who religiously use the DeX Station will probably be sad that they took away the ethernet port.
As for the experience, it works in just about the same capacity as before. For starters, we should note that the new DeX Pad bumps up the desktop experience's resolution up to 2560 x 1440 pixels from the previous 1080p, which should be fabulous for those who invested in a brand-new monitor with at least quad-HD resolution. Once the desktop experience loads, it works in nearly the same capacity as before – with the exception that we now have a trackpad at our disposal through the new Galaxy devices. The reason why it's now referred to as the DeX Pad is that the phone can transform into a trackpad for navigation.
Sure, you can attach a mouse via USB or through Bluetooth to the phone, but as an alternative, the phone can also act as a trackpad. Frankly, it's a very minor new addition, but at least users will have the ability to work on things at a desk or office without the traditional bulky desktop towers or laptops littering your space. Pricing has yet to be revealed, but considering that last year's unit currently sells for $100, we're hoping for this new one to replace the old model at that price point. Check out the new DeX Pad in action above!