The idea is enticing: instead of using a computer at home, a smartphone one the move and yet another computer at work, why not just use the same device everywhere? One that works like a smartphone on the move, but which can be hooked up to a big screen and keyboard when you want to work or peruse those amusing cat videos on the big screen.
Of course, Canonical's already had a go with its Ubuntu Phone idea, and Microsoft took it further with Continuum, but neither have got it quite right.
The Samsung DeX, on the other hand, might be the device that shows everyone else how to do it.
However, price isn't on its side. You're paying £700+ for a phone, plus another £129 for the DeX docking station. Altogether, it adds up to more than £800 for a sub-optimal desktop experience - you can get a half-decent gaming PC for that much!
On the other hand, if you're already splashing out £700+ on a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ anyway what's an extra £129, Mr/s big spender?
The Galaxy S8 is a great phone (as it should be at that price) and spending a little extra to pick up DeX dock delivers a basic desktop replacement device. It's the epitome of an excellent accessory: spend a bit and get a lot more out of your device.
The Lumia 950 Continuum 'dock' wasn't a dock, it was an octopus box that sprawled wires across a work surface
On paper, DeX ticks all the boxes, more or less. That said, we've also grown accustomed to disappointment over these types of devices, most recently at the hand of Microsoft's tragically flawed Continuum, which packed all the promise of Windows 10 but combined with the follow-through of a its disappeared mobile operating system.
So, can DeX pull it off where so many before it have failed?
What is DeX?
DeX is a dock for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ that outputs a desktop experience from your phone to a big screen. It acts as little more than a portal, relying entirely on your phone's processing power to generate the experience, doing so via HDMI, making it compatible with most TVs and monitors.
Thanks to two USB ports around the back, it's easy to hook up a keyboard and a mouse to DeX, and there's even an ethernet port for anyone who wants a high-speed connection without consuming all your mobile data.
DeX is a plastic puck that looks much better than it feels. It's lightweight, hollow and a bit flimsy. This is not helped by the fact that it has moving parts.
There's a central sliding component that glides back to expose a USB-C port for your Samsung Galaxy S8 to mount. Once docked, lifting up your Galaxy S8 results in lifting up the whole unit, making undocking fiddly and ensuring this isn't an ergonomic docking dream.
Fortunately, it looks much better than it feels and, once your S8 is docked, the whole set-up looks great. DeX angles your S8 so it's easy for you to see your phone's screen, while the black body will likely go with most desktop decors. The round, inoffensive, organic shape makes DeX looks more like a paperweight than a smart gadget.
Unlike with a smartphone, design is only marginally important for DeX as you're not handling it excessively or pocketing it.
We also love the fact DeX is a dock. The Lumia 950 Continuum 'dock' wasn't a dock, it was an octopus box that sprawled wires across a work surface. DeX, by contrast is a neat package that gets away with being not quite perfect from a design point of view thanks to a great overall aesthetic and, as we'll come onto, some excellent utility.
Before jumping into the nuts and bolts of the user experience, let's dive a little bit into the connections. As mentioned, everything of note is around the back - one USB-C port, one HDMI port, capable of 4K output, two USB 2.0 ports and one Ethernet port that supports speeds of up to 100Mbps.
The DeX Station also has a built-in cooling fan and charges your phone while it's docked, which, practically, really helps your Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ last more than a day.
Next: UX, app support and gaming