Galaxy S9 owners now have the ability to turn their smartphones into mini PCs with Samsung's launch of DeX Pad, a $100 accessory available to pre-order today (April 9). The device goes on sale May 13 online and in stores.
To sweeten the deal, Samsung is offering a free DeX Pad to anyone who buys a Galaxy S9 on Samsung’s website between April 9 and April 30.
While the DeX Pad was announced at the same time Samsung took the wraps off its new S9, that's not the only phone that will work with the accessory. DeX Pad is backward-compatible with the Galaxy S8, S8+, S8 Active and Note 8, though you’ll have to run to Android 8.0 Oreo on those phones.
The DeX Pad resembles a battery pack, but when connected to both a Galaxy phone and an external monitor, the device allows you to use apps and play games on a much larger screen. The DeX Pad packs in USB-C, HDMI and 2 USB ports for linking up your devices. Samsung is including an HDMI cable, USB-C cable and wall charger in the box.
The accessory improves upon last year’s DeX Station by allowing you to use your smartphone horizontally rather than placing it vertically in a stand. That means you can use your phone as a keyboard or mouse. With DeX Station, you had to connect a mouse to control the action on your device. That’s still an option, but it’s no longer a must-have.
Another improvement over last year’s DeX accessory is 2K resolution support, a bump up from 1080p. Samsung is working with app developers to optimize apps for DeX Pad. During a demo for both the accessory and the Galaxy S9 back in February, we saw an optimized version of Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition in action . Samsung is also aiming to get DeX Pad in corporate environments with support for virtual desktops and enterprise apps from Amazon, Citrix and VMWare.