The Samsung Dex is a tiny new smartphone dock that wades carefully toward a world in which smartphones serve as our primary computers. It’s about the size of a hockey puck, and when the Galaxy S8, a monitor, and a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse are connected, the Dex turns the phone into a surprisingly functional desktop. The idea is that instead of lugging a laptop around everywhere, you might just take your phone and drop it into a dock at home, the office, and so on.
The concept of docking a smartphone and turning it into a fully functional PC is an ambitious dream that has failed spectacularly many times in the past.
Look at the websites of big laptop-makers and you’ll find bold images of laptops designed to look like the future of the form. They’re impossibly slim, made of the same expensive materials as a top-end phone and cost a packet.
The HP Envy 15 is a laptop for those who don’t want to buy into the new order of ever-slimmer, ever-lighter, fancier machines. It’s a practical, reasonably powerful laptop that’s just right for those looking to retire their desktop PC, but want to do so with a degree of style.
It’s a very solid laptop, although it is a mainstream machine that slightly prioritises battery life over raw power.