The DeX dock that launched alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 was a nice idea. You could pop your phone onto it, and it would in turn throw your phone's screen onto a monitor to use like a proper desktop. It wasn't perfect, and kind of niche, but it was a nice idea for people who maybe didn't want to carry a laptop to and from work. Now we have our first look at the second generation DeX, and a lot's changed.
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.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 8, 2018
The main difference with the 'DeX Pad' is that the dock itself has been totally redesigned. Instead of holding your phone in an upright position, you have plug it down horizontally. Supposedly this is so you can use the phone as a trackpad, and avoid having to use an external mouse to get things done on the big screen. I suppose you could use it as a keyboard as well, but it would be quite small when compared to the real thing - even a travel-sized one.
You can also see it has the HDMI output and USB-C connectors of the original, plus two rectangular USB 2.0 ports for other accessories. All of those were included on the original, but the new version doesn't seem to have an ethernet port. That means you'll be stuck to Wi-Fi or mobile data to get anything done online. Not the biggest problem in the world, though it might be a dealbreaker for a select few who prefer the uncompromised speed a wired internet connection can provide.
You may have also noticed that the phone in those leaks still has a headphone jack, so Samsung isn't going to follow Google and Apple down the wireless/USB-C road just yet.
While there's no word on compatibility, I would be shocked if the new dock didn't also work with the S8/S8+ and Note 8, like the original DeX. We're likely to hear more about that, and a lot more, at the Galaxy Unpacked event on 25th February. [@evleaks via Android Police]