Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Smart Dock makes your phone a mini desktop computer

Many thought the wonderful idea of having docking stations for phones to turn them into desktop computers was dead. Motorola tried this with WebTop, but that idea came with the burden of adding an overpriced laptop dock to the purchase of your already expensive phone. Ubuntu aims to do it with solutions they’ve shown off, but for one reason or another the project just hasn’t accelerated as quickly as we’d initially thought.

Welp, another major player is looking to take a crack at this sort of thing and its name is Samsung. The manufacturer has posted details about a new accessory it’s beginning to offer for the highly-rated Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Simply called “Smart Dock,” this seemingly-normal desktop dock actually turns your Galaxy Note 2 into a mini desktop computer.

It features a full-sized HDMI port to hook up to a monitor, as well as a 3.5mm line-in port for an external speaker in case said monitor doesn’t have audio support built in. Along the sides are three full-sized USB ports for adding peripherals like a keyboard and mouse, and a microUSB port on the back for charging. We’re not sure if one of the USB cables can be used to transfer data to and from other computers and devices, but that’s something to look for once you get your hands on one.

It looks like the dock’s back brace doubles as a cover to protect the connection cradle when it’s not in use. Speaking of the cradle, Samsung’s made it wide enough to house the device with its official Flip Cover installed, and it says most slim covers (we imagine they’d have to closely match Samsung’s official offering) should be fine.

This is said to be coming in at $99.99. The price is not too surprising considering most first-party docks and accessories tend to be grossly overpriced, and we’re sure more than a few of you will agree to pay that much for something that would make your phone a portable computer. You can purchase one now from Samsung’s website, though it’s saying that the product is currently out of stock. We imagine that will change shortly. Anyone looking to add this to their Christmas list for Galaxy Note 2 accessories?

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  • DCTheTruth

    No thankyou.

  • JRomeo

    It’s a nice idea IF samsung is willing to continue the Galaxy Note yearly release cycles and yearly update cycles….. if only we had assurances, we might buy it…

    • Montisaquadeis

      I don’t see them canceling the note line any time soon since they have been big sellers since the first one so far.

  • Donovan Shore

    Wow, well this is awesome.

  • James_C_L

    Is this a spare battery charger as well? Looks like my s3 spare batter charger.

  • acey_zero

    Wow, this looks great and has huge potential! The Note II really looks like it is shaping up to be the ultimate power user device for this generation of phones, especially with the storage bottleneck of the Nexus 4.

    Only thing I don’t understand is what exactly this runs when you hook it up to a monitor and keyboard/mouse. Does it just mirror Android running on your device? Regardless, someone needs to get Ubuntu for Android running on this ASAP.

    • Ohiwastedmylife

      Keyboard and mice connect and work immediately as you would expect. Only catch is, the mouse does not work in app, it merely acts as an actual mouse cursor that you click and drag. The way to get around that is to root your phone and implement key mapping using an app called ‘USB/BT Joystick Center 6′ and then phone essentially becomes a portable computer. This is the future of gaming and computing, utilizing our super powerful phones with multiple gaming peripherals on our big screen tv’s!

  • jak_341

    Tell me this supports Ubuntu for Android…

  • rocket_crotch

    hope this will work for other phones besides the note 2

    • thedicemaster

      it will probably work for the galaxy S3 as well, and anything thinner than a note 2 that supports 11-pin mhl adapters.

      • http://twitter.com/NZtechfreak Murray Winiata

        Doesn’t work with the S3, tried my S3 with my Smart Dock this evening.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jansen.jeff Jeff Jansen

    The lack of this was the only thing that was making me consider the Razr HD instead. The Note 2 and this son’gun is mine :)

    • Maurice Battle

      Actually the compatible feature that Motorola had with their phones is no longer an option. Motorola gave their webtop the axe a month or two ago. So any new phone like the Razr HD might not be a go for that.

      • http://profiles.google.com/jansen.jeff Jeff Jansen

        It still has separate ports for video and out and USB, which would let you connect all the same stuff, albeit in a clumsier way. My concern was that there would be no way to hook up a HDMI, power, and a USB hard drive at the same time.

  • Ohiwastedmylife

    For $30 bucks you can buy the Samsung 11 pin MHL adapter that allows you to plug in a usb charging cable as well as HDMI. Purchase bluetooth keyboard, bluetooth mouse, or bluetooth gamepad controller and game that way instead. This seems too expensive.

    • Andy_in_Indy

      I can’t find a reasonable Bluetooth track pad that does gestures – any suggestions?

  • http://www.vgchartz.com SuperChunk

    Not a bad idea, but a bit pricey. If any OEM wants this to take off, it needs to be standardized and cheaper.

    The hardware and all the software requires should be in the phone and thus part of its cost. The hub should be as simple as above but designed to work with, really, any Android phone that has the desktop software layer.

    That layer really should be a significant part of Android’s OS. Either a more tablet view of Android OR ChromeOS.

    Either way, its something I think a ton of people would want if it was done correctly and not incredibly expensive. The dock really should just have simply connections and easily available for $50 or less…. especially if they made sure it was standardized and thus usable by a very large segment of the population.

    • Andy_in_Indy

      I like the way the Motorola Lapdock and Media Docks work (Webtop 3 is the “Tablet” style mode you mentioned). If this works with opther phones with MHL (like the Galaxy Nexus) I will be thrilled! I do recommend you find a multi touch trackpad instead of a mouse so it will work with gestures like “pinch to zoom”

  • http://profiles.google.com/davidsmoot David Smoot

    I thought MHL connector meant you could use either HDMI out or USB host. How are they doing both?

    • Tim

      Samsung uses an 11pin micro-usb port instead of the normal 5pins to do USB-OTG and MHL simultaneously. The GS3 uses the 11pin port and I assume the Note 2 does too. I have my fingers crossed that this dock will work with the GS3 as well, since it seems to be the only accessory that actually takes advantage of the 11pin port.

  • Guest

    It’s already out of stock.. this is bad. I thought I could test it with my S3.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      I think it just hasn’t gone on sale yet. UK retailers haven’t begun stocking either.

  • guitarist5122

    I would actually get this. $99 isn’t grossly overpriced compared to other docks

  • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

    Why would this not work other phones, minimally the Galaxy S3. I imagine a simple app is all that is needed, something to just trigger the connection to everything. I hope they push an update for the S3, and that we can get this working easily on any rooted phone that supports the pins.

    • notz

      Designed to work with GSII & beyond.

  • pregameonlinecom

    I love the idea, but like someone else said, how is it used? If it just mirrors the phone onto a monitor, then I don’t think I will use that too much, but if it uses it’s proccessor/RAM to run a dirrerent operating system, that would be awesome!

  • Andrew James

    I’ve put a request in with a few people for Christmas to get myself the MHL adaptor, a USB-OTG cable, a bluetooth mouse and a bluetooth keyboard. The MHL adaptor is a bit less slick than this dock, but it will do the job just as well at a tenth of the price.

  • simpleas

    This! is what I need, i guess im skipping all share ^^

  • paulainsp

    Well if you really wanted to do this why not just buy a padfone 2? that phone is pretty sweet looking! right now my infinity and my soon to be new nexus 4 phone are all i need for awhile!

  • ari_free

    I don’t think that many people are interested in Ubuntu. Android is the linux distro that consumers actually want.

  • mikkej2k

    Amy idea if the original Galaxy Note would work with this dock?

    • http://twitter.com/NZtechfreak Murray Winiata

      Won’t work, lacks the 11-pin USB port the Note 2 and S3 have (S3 doesn’t work with this though, I tried tonight).

      • mikkej2k

        Thank you.

  • http://www.technostall.com/ Chankey Pathak

    WANT!

  • N8shon

    …or I could just use my laptop…or my tablet.