Samsung is planning to introduce a Desktop Experience (DeX) docking station would allow the company's upcoming Galaxy S9 smartphone to be used as a touchpad, or maybe even a virtual keyboard. Lest anyone doubt it, famed leaker Evan Blass (better known as @evleaks on Twitter) posted a couple of official-looking press renders of what he says is called the "DeX Pad," and boy is it a bit funky looking.
In Samsung's defense, there may not be that many ways to design a dock like this without it looking a little weird. Blass acknowledges this very thing in a follow-up comment to his tweet.
"For those of you calling this ugly etc, how else would you design a dock for a phone that needs to lay flat to serve as a PC touchpad? Honest question," Blass says.
Good question, but then again, it's not up to consumers to design products for Samsung, it's up to Samsung's engineering team. In any event, the dock sports a USB Type-C connector for the Galaxy S9 to plug into. When connected, the phone lays flat with the touchscreen facing up. It's designed to work with Samsung's DeX UI experience, which allows users to have an expanded Android environment on a separate monitor.
It's a neat concept with some interesting utility. Samsung has collaborated with some major players on DeX, including Microsoft and Adobe, which have brought apps such as Office, Acrobat Reader, and Lightroom Mobile to the platform. Samsung also provides the ability to access Windows-based applications using virtual desktop solutions provided by Citrix and VMWare.
"Our collaboration with key partners such as Adobe and Microsoft was essential in the development of Samsung DeX, as they share our vision for building excellence in mobile productivity," Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, said last year. "With Samsung DeX, enterprise users can also be assured their smartphone and data are protected by the Samsung Knox security platform built into the smartphone. Samsung DeX redefines what a smartphone can do to keep mobile professionals productive."
The dock apparently ups the ante by leveraging the Galaxy S9's touch display. We can also make out two USB ports, a USB Type-C connector, and HDMI output, all of which are found on the original DeX Station. There's no visual of an Ethernet port, though it could be hiding from view on the other side of the DeX Pad.
Samsung is planning to launch the Galaxy S9 (and Galaxy S9 Plus) on February 25 at Mobile World Congress.