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Home / Apple / Plugable's Phone Cube is the best option for Samsung DeX (if you are in it) – Review Geek

Plugable's Phone Cube is the best option for Samsung DeX (if you are in it) – Review Geek



Rating:
  • 6/10
    ?

    • 1 – Absolute hot rubbish
    • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm rubbish
    • 3 – Highly mistaken design
    • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
    • 5 – Acceptable incomplete
    • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
    • 7 – Great, but not the best in the class
    • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
    • 9 – Look up and take my money
    • ] 10 ̵
      1; Absolute Design Nirvana

  • Price: $ 100

      Plugable's Phone Cube, a Samsung phone and a stylus sit on a desk next to a computer screen.
    Plugable

    Want to use your Samsung phone as a portable, dockable PC? Based on the testing of the DeX function, probably not.

    Here's what we like

    • Cute design
    • Compact
    • Works with DeX touchpad mode

    And what do you do to be different? We do not

    • No dedicated audio output
    • No simple USB access
    • Pricey

    Some very special ports

    The cube is nothing more (or less) than a nice, compact USB -C hub with dedicated power. It is certified for the DeX system, which allows Samsung's high-end phones to connect to a monitor, mouse and keyboard, and pretend to be an Android-based desktop computer. (A bad one – but it's not this product's fault.) Cube isn't the only gadget that does this. Samsung sells several DeX docks, and many third-party USB-C docks can handle this feature – many at a lower price.

      Samsung phone connected with a USB-C cable to a Plugable Phone Cube.
    A single USB-C cable gets you HDMI, a mouse, a keyboard, storage and Ethernet. Michael Crider

    But the cube gives a user-friendly lift. Samsung's first DeX design resembled an old-fashioned Palm charger. This does not work with the new touchpad tool, which makes the phone screen turn into a portable touchpad, so you don't need a mouse. Samsung's case-style DeX, however, makes it possible, but it is limited in terms of expansion. The third-party docks are more like large dongles, and they lack ease of use on the touch pad and external charging power. The cube hits all of these points, and it's the best all-round option in an admitted niche field.

    Party in the back

    The physical design of the cube is well, cubic. There is a USB-C port on the front. At the back you will find two rectangular USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port for accessories and data, one single HDMI port (which supports up to 4K resolution) and one Ethernet port for wired network. The cube comes with an alarm clock that can send 15 watts to the phone.

      Back of Plugable Phone Cube.
    There is a good selection of ports for such a small dock, but I still miss dedicated sound. Michael Crider

    The layout is simple and appealing, with a shining blue LED strip on the bottom that is fun without being distracting. But there are a few changes I would make after spending a while. The dock can offer some aesthetic appeal for tools by moving one of the standard USB ports to the front so you don't have to get around the back of the device to connect to a flash drive. PC manufacturers found this out decades ago, so I don't know why Plugables design team didn't. I also want a headphone jack on the dock for monitors without speakers or audio output capabilities (which is quite common if you use cheap or business class displays).

    Using Cube for DeX is frustrating, but not because of the hardware itself. As an Android-based system, DeX has some significant limitations on app processing and interfaces. But this review is not about it (check out this video if you are curious). If you are committed to the DeX system, available on the Galaxy S8, S9, S10, Note 8 and Note 9, you have no trouble using it here.

    <img class = "wp-image-18839 size-full" data-pagespeed-lazy-src = "https://www.reviewgeek.com/thumbcache/0/0/082ebb3cc3ebeb48c89006c11dc0e115/p/uploads/2019/ 07 / x7593d832.jpg.pagespeed.gp + jp + jw + pj + ws + js + rj + rp + rw + ri + cp + md.ic.buQw1Lom_C.jpg "alt =" Screen with three windows open. 19659037] Turns on The phone to a desk sounds cool, but using it is like … using a bad desktop.

    I could use mice and keyboards over USB or connect them directly to the phone via Bluetooth. access to external storage and networks via standard ports Video and audio were hard on my screen, although my note 8 was limited to 1080p resolution. Everything works, it's just not a great way to get something done, for example. an inexpensive Chromebook or an iPad, the painful transitions between mobile and windowed desktop apps – and the limited power of phone connection

    Lack of flexibility

    Can you use the tern nobody else? Sure! It works as a standard USB-C docking station, and I could connect to my HP Chromebook x2 and access all of the same features, including video output. However, since the cube is designed primarily for use with phones, the power output through the USB-C port is limited to only 15 watts, so my laptop does not charge while connected. It will do in a pinch, but it is not ideal if you need something for more conventional PC style docking. And you run into the same issues without the easy-to-access USB port and no dedicated audio output capabilities.

      A keyboard and a phone connected to a Plugable Phone Cube.
    The ability to easily use the phone's screen as a touchpad without sacrificing port hammers is a big plus. Michael Crider

    In terms of value, the cube is a tough sale for everyone except those who want to use it for DeX. There are cheaper options for both USB-C hubs and DeX-only docks, although some offer the ability to use the phone as a touchpad at the same time. Because you use your phone as a dockable computer, requires a keyboard and monitor (an investment of at least $ 200, at least), I don't think $ 100 for the most flexible DeX dock option out there is an unreasonable extra investment.

    Barring Some user-friendly quibbles, Cube is a good option for DeX users. Anyone looking for a more general USB-C hub for phones or laptops can find better hardware at lower prices.

    Here's what we like

    • Cute design
    • Compact
    • Works with DeX touchpad mode

    And what we don't

    • No dedicated audio output
    • No easy USB access [19659002] Prisy


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