So you recently discovered the joys of Samsung Dex and you’re wondering if there are any lapdocks for Samsung Dex out there. As it turns out, there are a few products you might find useful. Let’s dive into the world of lapdocks!
What is a Lapdock?
A lapdock is a laptop shell without any of the internal components. It has a screen, keyboard, USB ports, and other features, but it can’t run on its own. The shell is powered by your phone, mostly designed for Samsung Dex.
When you connect your phone to a lapdock, the Dex UI will activate on the lapdock’s screen and you can use it as a laptop.
Why Use a Lapdock?
The obvious advantage to using a lapdock is it’s much cheaper than a real laptop and all you need is a Dex compatible phone. It’s an attempt to bridge the gap between laptops and phones.
What I mean by that is you don’t need to bring a keyboard, mouse, or portable monitor, it’s all built-in to the lapdock. Naturally, it’s possible to “Build” your own version, but that requires buying lots of components, which can be quite expensive, more on that later.
And a lapdock won’t breakdown, it’s just as powerful as your phone. When you upgrade a phone, the lapdock runs faster too. The only concern would be the screen, but a decent 1080P screen should last for a very long time. It’s pretty cool when you think about it.
Lapdocks only work when connected to a phone, and having a wired connection to a phone all the time can be bothersome (some have “casting” features for wireless Dex). But there’s no denying lapdocks can be quite helpful in certain situations.
One more quick thing to mention is lapdocks are still being developed (such as the Nexdock2). There are a few still in the planning stages, so I’ll update this article later on when more options are available.
But enough about that, let’s look at our options:
Best Lapdocks for Samsung Dex
The HP Elite x3 looks almost exactly like a slim laptop but it’s not. First things first, the lap dock has a very premium feel, packages professionally, and it comes with all the required cables.
Weighing in at 2.2 pounds, the X3 is a very nice and portable shell, it feels like a tablet, and the build quality is very good, it feels like a premium laptop. I especially liked the chrome design.
- Charging Port
- Two USB-C Ports
NFC Casting Feature:
What’s really cool about this laptop is there’s an NFC area to the right of the touchpad. That NFC allows you to connect to the phone using wireless Dex, so it doesn’t have to be connected through a wire. It works okay but there is a bit of lag with wireless Dex.
What’s great about this lap dock is it comes with a battery, so you can use it on-the-go at any time, exactly like how you would use a laptop. It can also charge your phone from the dock’s battery, not fast-charge though.
It’s a cool idea… unfortunately, it’s very expensive. Check the price here, the price has dropped over the years, but it’s still about the same as a budget traditional laptop and even more expensive than Chromebooks.
2 – NexDock Touch
The NexDock Touch is available via pre-order, so I can’t say much about it, but it looks like it will be a decent product, similar to the HP one above. The price is similar too. According to their website, the first units should be shipped in January 2021.
The most notable feature of this dock is it has a touchscreen display, so you can use it as a tablet. I personally don’t see the appeal of touchscreen laptops, but some people like them, so to each their own.
Another interesting feature is there’s a magnetic side mount. The idea is to stick your phone to the side of the dock so you can work on both at the same time, like a mini extended monitor.
As I mentioned, there are a few other lapdocks to keep an eye on, but most of them are still in planning stages (Mirabook, Bridge III, etc).
Unfortunately, Samsung hasn’t released its own version yet. It’s a shame because they invented Dex, so they should create accessories for it too.
As mentioned earlier, you can create your own version of a lapdock for Dex but you’ll need to buy some stuff, which I’ll list below:
- Portable Monitor (ASUS MB16AC Recommended)
- Dex Pad
- Bluetooth or Wireless Ultra-Thin Laptop Keyboard
The priciest item would be the portable monitor, but it will last for a very long time and you can use it for all kinds of stuff.
Another alternative would be to just buy a Chromebook…
If you use Dex a lot, a lapdock for Dex can be quite handy and useful. The problem is they’re expensive, and you have to always have your phone connected for it to work, which means it will be dangling around.
I think the concept is very cool, and there are advantages, but I don’t think a lapdock is worth it right now. In the future, when prices come down, a lapdock will probably be worth it. For now, I’ll stick to using the Dex dock connected to a monitor.
What do you think?