Generic USB Hub with Dex!

Publish date: Aug 22, 2022
Tags: wkstation

Samsung Dex is a Samsung solution to let one interact with your phone on a full size display, either with a dedicated dock or a software application. I’ve always though about getting one, but the use cases were pretty mimimal, thus making the $100 spend a little hard to stomach.

Last night I found myself in our office at home with no laptop. I almost went through with purchasing a dock, but then found a reseller that had a “Dex Compatible” dock that looked suspiciously like a plain USB-C hub. A little research showed that a lot of USB-C docs just work with Samsung Dex mode. As I already had one setup, I decided to give it a shot…and it worked! This is perfect - if I’m upstairs outside of work, I generally am doing smaller tasks. Most of those tasks are generally repos within Gitpod, which works pretty well from the phone. Apps seems to mostly work fairly well in the Samsung windows interface. TermUx provides me enough of a native LInux experience I can make do (although honestly the terminal environment on Gitpod gives me nearly everything I want.) I think this is a great environment for ad-hoc development. When I’m up for a new Chromebook replacement, I very well might just pick up something like a NexDock and use that as my light-weight laptop option.

For anyone curious, I’m using an Ankler 555 USB-C Hub. At $80, it’s nearly the price of a DeX dock, but this particular hub has been really solid as a “dock” for my Macbook, Windows laptop, and now my Samsung phone.

I’m always on the lookout for alternative client workstation solutions. A combination of smartphones, bluetooth keyboards, and Chromebooks make client computing incredibly affordable and accessible. Combined with the appropriate cloud technologies, certainly an exciting tech platform accessible to a large portion of the population.

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