21 Comments

Summary:

Could a smartphone be your primary computing device? With this $99 Samsung Smart Dock for the Galaxy Note 2, it’s possible. The dock supports 3 USB accessories — think keyboard, mouse and storage — and includes HDMI out for 1080p video on a monitor or HDTV.

samsung-smart-dock

Want to turn that Samsung Galaxy Note 2 into a full-sized Android computer? It’s not likely something everyone would think of doing, but it’s not that difficult to do thanks to Samsung’s new $99 Galaxy Note 2 Smart Dock. The team at GottaBeMobile spotted the dock on Samsung’s U.S. site and I’m intrigued with the possibilities and potential.

The dock charges the Galaxy Note 2 while also adding a few extra features, allowing the smartphone to connect to USB devices and external monitors. The three USB ports could be used for a wired mouse, keyboard and external drive, for example. Google added USB support with Android 4.0, making this possible. The dock also has a full-sized HDMI-out interface to connect an external display; with this connection, the Galaxy Note 2 will drive a 1080p monitor or television set. Lastly, a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack can be connected to an external audio source or simply be used with headphones.

The idea of using Android for a full-fledged computing environment may sound like a stretch. Look at the Asus Transformer Prime tablet, however, and you’ll see that this is precisely the idea behind that product. An optional dock with keyboard, trackpad and USB ports turns the Transformer into an Android-powered laptop of sorts.

It’s not ideal for everyone, of course — mainly due to application support and touch-optimized apps that work better on a tablet than a laptop — but these types of devices have their fans. And for $99, it’s a reasonably priced addition to the Galaxy Note 2 if you want to give it a try. Tempting….

  1. will it work with a Galaxy Note n7000

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  2. The dock makes most smart tv obsolete, but it’s a little overpriced for $100.

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  3. Lucas Alexander Spiros Monday, November 12, 2012

    Are we still taking about a phone

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  4. brian bulkowski Monday, November 12, 2012

    Your comment about “touch-optimized apps that work better on a tablet than a laptop” is crazy.

    When you use Android on a “netbook” (the Prime with keyboard) you realize how natural a touch interface is for netbook computing. Buttons are right in front of you – turn off the touchpad – you reach out and touch the buttons.

    After you use this, you’ll be poking at every laptop screen. It’s just better, now that Android has netbooks and Windows has touch, OS X better start evolving.

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    1. Appreciate the comment, Brian. I based my opinion on having used touchscreen convertible touch-screen laptops (Tablet PCs) since 2004. I don’t care for reaching out to a touchscreen on a laptop all the time for most use when a trackpad/mouse better suits the ergonomics. If you prefer a touchscreen display on a laptop, that’s great; use what works best for you! :)

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  5. Hey I Have Note 2
    So Is This Smart Doc Available In India?

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  6. While it pretty well flopped for the Atrix, what do you think the chances of Samsung releasing a Transformer-style battery/keyboard/touchpad dock (or maybe even one with a larger screen) for the Note II are?

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    1. Very unlikely, as the device is the mobile computing solution. The dock provides a desktop/work station experience. I’ve tried the desktop replacement with my Galaxy Nexus with a MHL adapter and bluetooth keyboard and mouse but the experience is like using an interface meant for someone with really poor vision. I think for this to work properly, you would need to be able to easily change the resolution or the icon and widget sizes. I suppose you could always have to launchers running; one for traditional use and one for desktop experience.

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      1. I found a potential solution over at XDA. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1800268

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  7. WHERE DO YOU BUY ONE??? in the us??? Link please? There a million reviews with no info on buying it on the net.and you cant buy it at the samsung us site.just another list of function s on the smart dock there…

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    1. Um, click on where it says “Samsung’s new $99 Galaxy Note 2 smart dock.” That’s the link to where you can buy it on the Samsung site it looks like

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  8. Valerie Gremillion Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Hi Kevin, this is EXACTLY what i was hoping they would do – a quadcore 1.6 Ghz is more computer than anyone had a few years ago, OF COURSE hook it up and use it like one, people!

    BUT! a question for you- I ordered the international version Galaxy Note 2 from Amazon a couple of weeks ago as !!*&%&^!! Verizon’s version was not available yet -i assume they are making it LESS great, as usual. Now I’ve found that Verizon’s radio insures that i CANNOT use this phone on Verizon at all! No one at Verizon knows anything useful, and Samsung now redirects buying a Verizon version to a Verizon site, so I can’t even ask questions of Samsung. My question relates to your earlier column on Straight Talk – can i use the Note 2 that i’ve bought on that network using the sim card? I don’t care about LTE but i sure as hell would like to use this phone internationally as well as locally.
    I’m almost at the point of keeping the one i have as a mini wifi tablet – now you’ve shown me how i can, thank you!! Cuz yes it IS that cool, but I’m worried how much functionality Verizon will be deleting on ‘its’ version. Any thoughts on this? Thanks for your great info.

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    1. It seems that the success of Galaxy Note I was a good reason for Samsung to develop the next generation “Note II”. The new model looks similar to the company’s previous model, as the software and hardware are more developed. Like the previous model, Note II is equipped with a 5.5-inch SuperAMOLED display. The screen is 0.2 inches wider than the previous model, but unfortunately, the pixel density is much lower. The internal memory capacities are 16, 32 and 64 GB, while all three models support up to 32 GB microSD memory card. The camera has no changes, and the same two megapixel front camera, and 8 megapixel back camera are available on this model. While comparing the OS we can see that Note II is equipped with Android 4.1. This phone’s quad-core processor is the same as the previous model, but with higher frequency “1.6 GHz Cortex-A9” which is expected to provide better performance. Mali-400 graphic processor remains unchanged, while RAM has been extended from one to two GBs in Galaxy note II. Meanwhile, the same as Note 10.1, Note II is also equipped with Samsung’s new pen. Finally the extension of 600 mA battery on this phone in comparison to the previous model “Note I” is the last awesome added feature on this model as mentioned at http://www.fisooloo.com/product/Telecommunication/Cellphone/Samsung/Samsung_Galaxy_Note_II_N7100.

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  9. I want to use MHL or the dock to control a larger Touch Screen, so I can just touch it, and work the phone, has anyone tried that? Imagine you have the dock next to your bed, with a 21 inch touch screen monitor sitting there. I want to touch the monitor and have it work the phone! Make calls or text or control the play of a movie. Not using a mouse, but another touch screen!

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    1. iWannaTOUCHit Monday, January 21, 2013

      @ Wally Wanks…. THIS IS WHAT I WANT TOO… i already have the ACER T232HL 23″ touch monitor… (using it with WINdoze 8 presently) i have seen vids on YouTube of using a bigger external monitor with the dock and a simple hdmi cable… BUT I WANT TOUCH… and the touch commands are sent over the USB cable AND the SMART dock has USB ports (fingers crossed !)

      can anyone verify that this works before i buy the Samsung SMART dock
      (and we will see just how SMART is it ??)

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  10. This is close to what you were asking. I’ve hooked up my Note 2 wirelessly via the AllCast Share device that transmits hdmi output through the phone’s wifi connection. All this and a special app that is needed allows me to control the phone and all of its functions while it sits there wirelessly transmitting, the technology these days is getting serious…

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  11. How to order?

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  12. Actually for me the combination of a simple flip cover with stand along with an OTG cable nd Wireless keyboard mouse combo solves the problem

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  13. Can you give an update after.using this? So many reviews just explain what it is supposed to do, but no tests. Some early reviews say rooting your phone is required for full functionality of the dock? Thanks.

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  14. peteunderwood Monday, January 21, 2013

    So I purchased the Dock with the hopes that one day, I will be able to just walk around with my phone and plug it into keyboards, monitors and mice…. I think we are close to that, but not quite there.

    The good, the bad and the ugly:

    The Good – You can actually do this. I have a wireless keyboard, mouse and HDMI – DVI cable plugged into a monitor. It works right off the bat…. there is nothing to setup and configure.

    The Bad – The price. A little expensive (considering the ugly to follow). Also, I haven’t figured out how to enable the phone speakers… so unless I am plugging directly into a speaker through the docking output, I have no sound. Also, movies appear very clear on the youtube video demo of this thing…. I am just no seeing that (because of my HDMI – DVI cable?).

    The Ugly – The resolution. 1080 sounds good, but not for a computer replacement. Everything is gigantic on my computer monitor…. absurdly so. And the brightness is just not there. The usual crispness is gone….. so unless you want someone three isles over to see what you are typing, I think the “laptop replacement” scenario is not viable. Even RDP into another computer is pretty ugly.

    So unless you are make a powerpoint presentation on the fly, or want to watch NetFlix in a hotel room (which you could technically buy a mini-usb to HDMI cable to do), then this thing is a paper weight.

    -Pete

    PS – If anyone has a way around the resolution issue, I am all ears.

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  15. now all smasung have to do is make better tvs than panasonic. Time for some THX samsung tvs. the note two is a work of art.

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