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Samsung's Note 9 takes DeX to a new level


Samsung’s Note 9 flagship enterprise smartphone has arrived with a bunch of hardware upgrades that make it one of the most advanced smartphones ever, but enterprise users might be more interested in a clever upgrade for DeX, the innovative Samsung software that allows a smartphone to be paired with a TV or monitor for a virtual desktop.

galaxy note 9 s pen Christopher Hebert/IDG

The Galaxy Note 9’s S Pen comes in new fashionable colors to match the phone.

A better DeX experience

With DeX, Samsung came up with a neat way to harness the significant power of a modern smartphone. Connected to an external monitor or TV, DeX redraws the phone home screen to make it much more like a conventional PC desktop. Coupled with a mouse and keyboard, it strikes a compelling proposal for travelers who don’t want to carry a laptop but find a phone a bit too small for everything they need to do.

The first and second generation versions of DeX required a cradle and a dock respectively but that’s history. DeX in the Note 9 connects directly to a TV or monitor using the phone’s USB-C connector.

I used an off-the-shelf Cirago USB-C-to-HDMI adapter and successfully ran DeX on a TV through the HDMI input and a monitor, using an HDMI to DVI cable.

screenshot 20180920 140929 chrome Martyn Williams/IDG

Google Maps running in a browser on the DeX desktop

Learning to love DeX

If you’ve never used DeX before, there is a learning curve, but it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to figure out that notifications are now at the bottom, that right-click doesn’t always do anything and that sometimes you just have to single click an icon. 

Then you can start being productive. 

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