Samsung has officially announced the DeX Pad for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus at Mobile World Congress 2018. The DeX Pad is a docking station that can turn the Galaxy S9 into a full-fledged desktop computer running Samsung's Desktop Experience software, giving users a whole new way to stay productive throughout the day without requiring additional devices. The big change this year is twofold; first off, the DeX Pad is designed so that the phone now lays flat instead of being positioned at a more vertical angle. This new orientation makes it easy for users to now utilize the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus's touchscreen as a multi-touch trackpad instead of having to hook up a mouse to get the job done.
Last year, Samsung debuted the DeX Station with the Galaxy S8, which acted both as a charging dock for the phone and a way to display a desktop-like interface on a monitor via the phone. Just like last year's station, the DeX Pad features two USB Type-A inputs, primarily designed for a mouse and a keyboard to be connected, as well as an HDMI output, and a USB Type-C input for power. This year, the HDMI output has been upgraded from a maximum output resolution of 1080p, up to a QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution. Aside from allowing consumers to use the phone as a multi-touch trackpad, Samsung is also building a virtual keyboard that will be available in a future software update, allowing them to fully ditch any external accessories should they want to do so.
Samsung's DeX solution has advantages over other manufacturer's implementations, like Huawei's Mate 10 Pro for instance, because it can fully utilize virtualized Microsoft Windows apps with an enterprise-grade Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Samsung has partnered with the likes of Citrix, VMWare, and Amazon to provide cloud-based ecosystems for these applications, meaning you'll get a true desktop experience with fully working apps, instead of having to rely on only what's on Google's Play Store. Samsung's DeX Pad retails for $149.99 and only works with the Galaxy S9 family for now, although a software update for the Galaxy S8 family may enable expanded support in the future.