Samsung's new S8 makes a viable low power desktop PC?


#1

Samsung has just announced the new S8 smart phone, and a few accessories. The accessory that caught my eye was the DeX, which is a docking station for the new S8 that turns the S8 into a low power desktop PC.
Do you think this is viable?

https://youtube/QA31CaL_42A


#2

I am surprised that the previous attempts to make your phone a viable desktop supplement/replacement has not been successful. I thought when MS entered the smart phone OS arena making a smartphone a multi platform device would be their trump card over Apple and Android but they really blew their chance. MS could have delivered a truly capable phone OS that had the ability to be the core of a desktop setup.

I don’t think Samsung will get much traction with this because of it being Android based. Android is not a desktop OS and likely never will be a serious competitor to MS in this area. At least not for a very long time. If MS ever gets their fecal matter together they could offer a potent cross platform device that could be a smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop in one device. It seems like such an easy task for them to do this and why they have not is perplexing to me.


#3

That’s a very good point - This probably would have been a better laptop killer than Microsoft’s surface Tablets, i.e. drop your Windows phone in a dock and you’ve a full Windows desktop-like PC, unplug it and you’ve everything with you. I’m sure they could have made a laptop-like equivalent of this, i.e. slot the phone in the side and the screen, keyboard and trackpad function a similar way, while the internal battery tops up the phone at the same time.

Although Samsung’s DeX is a nice idea, I don’t think it would be a big selling feature unless bundled with the phone. Anyone who currently wants Android on a TV or as a desktop-like PC can pick up an Android set-top box which comes with USB ports and a network port. While Samsung would have better performance, most games that depend on fast hardware will not work as they also depend on titling the phone and multi-touch to play them, which would be a problem with the phone placed in a dock. Other apps such as web browsing, video streaming and word processing, etc. all work just fine with most Android set top boxes.

I also wonder about the mobile operators who offer unlimited data plans. At present, most providers prohibit, cap or charge for tethering as streaming HD video on large screens is incredibly data heavy. As the phone itself would be doing the streaming for whatever screen it is plugged into, this could lead to just as heavy data usage as if the user was tethering its phone’s data to a desktop PC. For example, a person living on their own could potentially use the phone’s unlimited data plan as their main Internet connection, i.e. plug in the DeX for all their home web browsing, Netflix, e-mail, etc. A separate Tablet or PC would only work if unlimited tethering was permitted.


#4

It’s amazing how powerful some of these sorts of devices are these days as they’re forever pushing the boundaries.

I just wish they’d do something to help the battery technology keep up.


#5

The other thing Samsung is going up against is the massive number of stick PCs that run Windows 10 extremely well using the newer low power Intel CPUs. These plug into an HDMI port and can even run many games at an acceptable level. My guess it that Samsung’s dock station will cost the same, or more, than the majority of these devices. Many of these W10 PC sticks can be bought for around $100. Also, there are very small mini PCs with W10 that will handle 4k video and even have HDMI 2.0 connections. They also sell for around $100-$125 and have USB 3.0 connections and micro SD slots for memory expansion.

I agree with you that Samsung had better be almost giving away this dock or it will be a failure. Even then, I doubt it will be used as a desktop replacement for the overwhelming majority of Samsung S8 users.

Edit: I read that the dock will cost $149 for the base version and $160 for the fast charging version. Far to expensive, IMO. I would rather spend less on a W10/Intel based PC stick or minibox.


#6

I don’t think anyone who already has a PC would buy this device, but I can see it appealing to people who don’t have a desktop, or just doesn’t like Windows. The DeX appeals to my daughter, she is 15 and the only time she ever uses her PC is for doing homework, which she syncs from her phone using Outlook. She want’s one. I would probably buy her a DeX, if she already had the S8 phone, but she doesn’t, and isn’t likely to get one this year. :slight_smile:

BTW: You should not underestimate the CPU or graphics power of these phones. In Europe, Samsung use their own 8 core Exynos CPU clocked at 2.3GHz so is probably a lot more powerful than these PC sticks.

I have the S7 Edge, and not only does it play 4K video without any problems, it can even shoot in 4K with outstanding image quality.

You can also run Windows on a VM using DeX, for those who need Windows.


#7

I think the price point for the dock is going to be a big hurdle for many. The one big advantage of the W10 PC sticks and mini boxes is they will run any Windows programs and if the newest Intel CPUs are used they have 4k codecs native in hardware. Also, the DeX dock will only do 4k @ 30 fps so it isn’t a full spec 2.0 HDMI connection. Many of the W10 sticks/boxes have 2.0 HDMI connections that do 4k @ 60 fps.

I think it will be useful to some people who want one device and aren’t using 4k monitors. However, with Google Drive and cloud based storage, having one device to access data/information isn’t necessary. It seems like the DeX dock is like many things that hit the market. They get about 50%-70% of the way to a perfect product and then over charge for it. I will be getting an S8 though to replace the Note 7 I have been shielding from the bricking updates. :slight_smile:


#8

Watched a very interesting documentary, Search for the Super Battery, on the upcoming or perhaps I should say the potential upcoming battery technology and from my perspective, I thought it was mind blowing. The next 18 months to 2 years are going to be very interesting if they can scale them up for manufacturing.


#9

I must have a look for that as I wouldn’t mind seeing that programme.

Yeah there have been several things I’ve seen in recent years most notably batteries that charge in less than two minutes and substantially increaseed capacity for existing technology batteries but nothing has as yet appeared.

TBH I thought we’d have all this by now as these were just adaptations of the existing technology but for whatever reason it seems these companies are slow off the mark.


#10

My apologies. I don’t know why I missed reading this reply when I first posted. You may have seen the doco I mentioned above but if not… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4McN9OYDwg