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Last year, Samsung made a DeX dock that transformed the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 into lite Android-powered PCs. This year, the DeX returns as the Dex Pad.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Just like last year, the DeX Pad allows you to add a monitor, keyboard and mouse and browse the web, use apps, and feel like you're at a computer.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

But you're just using your phone.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The new DeX Pad also docks the S9 horizontally, and turns the phone into your computer trackpad.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

But you can still use a mouse instead, if you prefer.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Multitouch gestures work, but take getting used to. And there's no clicking, just tapping.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The dock is bulky but it has vents to help the phone stay cool.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Two USB 2.0 ports and HDMI are on the dock, plus USB-C for power.

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The DeX Pad connects to the phone via USB-C.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The DeX Pad won't work with older phones right away, just the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

It can connect to monitors with higher resolutions. It's now up to 2K compared with last year's 1080p.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Docking it takes some practice.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

All Android apps on the phone, for the most part, run in the DeX Pad on a monitor. Some apps are also optimized, including Microsoft Office, a Samsung web browser, and some of Google's core apps.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

A software keyboard will arrive soon, too, allowing the entire interface to run on the phone now without extra physical keyboards or mice.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

One downside: no access to the rear fingerprint sensor when docked (you'll have to use a PIN code, or iris scanning).

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The DeX Pad is aimed at enterprise and B2B, aiming for lightweight secure connections to key apps without needing another device.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The pricing is not yet available for the DeX Pad.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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