HP Elite Dock with Galaxy Note 9 First Impression

I know this device has been around for quite some time but I just got a chance to use it with my Galaxy Note 9 Samsung DeX.

HP Elite Dock is definitely a very cool product/concept and something that IMO we will see more and more in coming years. It was originally built for HP Elite X3 which is a Windows phone and somehow magically works with my Galaxy Note 9.

The feeling of being able to plug your phone into the dock, RDP into a full blown up machine/server, fix a problem using a full size monitor and keyboard is just amazing.

I like the dock concept for phones in general because:

  • Docks are cheap and hold no information and therefore very easy to replace
  • You can easily switch a dock with another one and still continue the same working environment, files and data.
  • They don’t have any processing power and therefore they will stay useful for much longer period comparing to laptops.

I’ve been using my Note 9 with HP Elite Dock for over one week now and here is my first impression in form of pros and cons. It’s worth mentioning that this experience wouldn’t have happened without Samsung DeX.

Pros

  • Great build quality.
  • Samsung DeX takes the phone to a whole new level and gives me ability to do things with my phone that I wouldn’t do in normally. For instance writing this blog post end to end on my phone. Having the HP Elite Dock makes using DeX just so easy and painless (well somehow painless).
  • Monitor has a great quality. Size and resolution wise it’s enough to make me productive.
  • The keyboard has great travel time and the backlit keys look great. It cannot match my X1 Carbon experience but to be honest I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. It reminds me of my surface keyboard with a little bit more key travel.
  • The monitor and keyboard angels are perfect and very comfortable for work.
  • Coming from a windows environment the shortcut experience is very close. Copy & paste and most of the keys work as expected.

Cons

Before I get to the cons I want to mention that I’m pretty sure a lot of these are because I’m using Android and the device is not originally designed for this platform.

  • The touchpad is not that great. It will work and I can get things done but often jumps around and gets triggered while I’m typing. It might be an Android integration issue however I don’t have a problem with a Bluetooth mouse connected to it.
  • I wasn’t able to get the sound working with my note 9. I have to use a headset connected to my phone if I want to use any audio. With the latest Note 9 upgrade (One UI) the audio started working without any issues.
  • When typing (in most cases) and as soon as a text field gets activated the phone will wake up and I think this is draining the battery why you have a lot of typing to do.
  • Because the battery inside is powering the monitor and the backlit keyboard and charging the phone at the same time you can feel how quickly you are losing the juice in the dock.
  • Now that I’m typing this line my typing speed is way faster than the letters will appear on screen. I think it’s because some process is running in. Had to restart the phone to get the performance back.
  • Sometimes I have to disconnect and reconnect the cable for the phone/DeX to detect the HD resolution.

Verdict

I’m still very happy that I bought this however this is not everyone’s device. Although it makes me more productive because I can deal with all the technical issues and somehow understand them, others that may think they can replace this combination with their day to day laptop will be just disappointed. I think for public usage this combination is still nothing more than a cool concept. I on the other hand will continue using my HP Elite with my Note 9 and look forward for new phone dock products.

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