I tried to replace my work computer with Samsung DeX, but it needs to solve some problems before I’ll ditch the laptop


The feature I miss most about using a Samsung phone is DeX. This clever tool allows you to plug a Galaxy phone or tablet, into a monitor or TV and use it like a desktop PC. While I could never part with my laptops (yes plural) I began to wonder if DeX could instead replace my work laptop and help reduce what I’m carrying, making my commute and travel much easier. 

However, not all DeX experiences are created equal because DeX is available on such a wide range of devices from the Samsung Galaxy S8, up to the latest Samsung Galaxy S24 series. Depending on exactly which Galaxy device you use and what you need a work machine for, means your mileage may vary. I use my work laptop for researching, writing articles, and communicating via email, video calls and Slack which should all be achievable using a Galaxy phone’s power. 

Screen capture of website browsing on DeX

(Image credit: Future / James Ide )

For this test, I was packing the Samsung Galaxy S23, which uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and is equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Obviously, a more powerful device should produce quicker performance and an older device may not be quite as responsive; for example, my old Samsung Galaxy S9 was a lot more limited.  

The initial set-up wasn’t difficult and took about a minute to put together. I simply plugged the phone into a USB hub that featured enough ports for a mouse and keyboard and a HDMI port. DeX then automatically launches when it detects a display. But you can also connect wirelessly to a compatible TV, which is even easier via a drop-down menu on the phone.

It felt very strange to see a near-empty space where my laptop would usually be, however those with limited desk space will appreciate the expanded working space switching to DeX can offer. You’ll need either a wired or wireless mouse, keyboard, and an HDMI cable, but you can use the device’s display as a makeshift mouse and keyboard in a pinch.

I briefly used DeX through my TV, which provided a tidier less-wired experience as well as a larger screen that was useful for looking and photos and videos but was less optimal for day-to-day tasks. 

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