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Samsung Dex experience with 3rd party lap-dock (HP Lap Dock, mirabook when it launche

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By StardustGeass, Senior Member on 13th January 2018, 06:23 PM
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Hi!

I want to sharing my experience during my usage with hp elite X3 lap dock I just bought. If anyone (and sometime later) bought another kind of lap-dock (mirabook?, nextbook?), I'll be very pleased if you share your experience here as well.

Well, sadly, these kinds of lap docks are not dex-supported out of the box (at least during the time writing this).
So, we'll need to UBL and flash kernel that have "universal dex" mod inside.

I found some things that are really amusing, and I posted this thread under the "Accessory" sub instead of Q&A because I hoped this thread to help everyone deciding buying this lap dock.

First and foremost, Pros and Cons..

Pros:
- Amazing build quality. Sleek, sturdy, and also amazing finish.
- Tactile keyboard. It's not a cheap one you'll find on cheap laptops. Very comfortable for long session typing (for me at least).
- Amazing display. I compared it to my colleagues windows 10 laptop that have 2 times the price, and imo, the display wins hands down.
- Wireless connectivity (with another bugged feature I'll tell below, and if you don't use it, won't hinder you as well).
- Amazing speaker (note, there is a bug on it, gonna tell you below as well).
- Cheap. Well, actually it is very pricey, but there are refurbished models with 150$ price tag when I bought it on ebay.
- Boots amazingly fast. At first I thought it only boots when I press and hold the power button for a long time (which, makes the booting actually longer). Turns out a single press at the power button turns on the device almost instantly.

Cons:
- The trackpad is not that comfortable. You can't click and drag. Right click register is tapping with two fingers (MacBook style). Scrolling up and down using two fingers is a disaster, since it often registers as a right click instead of scrolling. I ended up buying a Bluetooth mouse to solve this problem.
* Update (9 July 2018): This problem is fixed with oreo 8.0 update! Scrolling up and down is no longer a gassle, and two fingers tap easily registers as a right-click!
- No driver update from Android. Actually, the mouse problem is solved on a driver update. But sadly, the only way to update those drivers is using a HP Elite X3 smart phone.
- As far as I know, it is hard to search for a 45 W, USB C charger for the replacement (just in case something goes wrong with it).. I found that mostly USB - PD devices only shoots up to 30W, and I haven't found one that shows 45W.

Bugs:
- Related to audio:
I found that using a USB C connection (Samsung dex - mode), the audio produced is often crackled. When playing using the wireless mode (smart display by Samsung), it doesn't happen - even when playing the same audio files. So, it is either a driver problem, or a connection problem (I think it's related to the USB C provided, gonna buy another one soon to test).
* Update (9 July 2018): On oreo ROM, the audio no longer outputs to the lapdock... Very sad about it.. For now, I'm using a bluetooth headset to accomodate. If anyone finds out a Oreo Rom with audio output on lapdock, please share

- Related to wireless mode:
> Heck, I don't know the magic beyond it, but actually you can TYPE using the lap-dock keyboard when the phone is paired wirelessly! I thought the wireless mode only enables screen mirroring without input?
> That said, there is a problem though. Not all keys are working (windows key to trigger opening apps and other function keys don't work). Secondly, when we typed, it is registered twice. And sadly, I still don't know what to do with it.

- Related to charging the device:
> Somehow, charging the devices sometimes become quite a pain. At times, when the lap dock is turned off, it won't charge (at least, the battery indicator doesn't blinking to show it charges). It doesn't always happen as well, so I really don't know what caused it. Well, you can remedy it by plugging the charger cable when the lap dock is turned on and turn it off while still connecting to the charger.
* Update (9 July 2018): Never encountered this problem anymore. Weird since I don't get any software update for the lap dock itself.

Related to lap dock input (track pad, keyboard, and audio):
> When you plug in (or out) the charger, for a brief moment, the trackpad, keyboard, and audio is disconnected and reconnected again. Well, mostly this won't become a problem, but sometimes, when I am listening to a Bluetooth headphone, the audio suddenly rerouted to my lap dock instead of my phone.
> Sometimes, when you plug the phone using USB - C to the lap dock, it doesn't recognize the input devices (except for the monitor). Re-connecting the device solves the problem, but since Dex "rebooting" takes some time, sometimes it is just annoying.
* Update (9 July 2018): There are some Oreo ROM that doesn't recognize the keyboard and touchpad input. Currently, I'm using Alexis ROM 4.4 and it is working. Several days ago, update the ROM to v 5.3 but turns out it have the said problems, so I return back to 4.4.

That is all of my HP elite X3 lap dock review. Hope this helps you decide whether you want to buy one or not. Personally, it is a great buy for me, since the cons and the bugs doesn't affect me too much.

EDIT - 22 Jan 2018: Editing several things after using the lap dock for around two weeks.
EDIT - 9 July 2018: Updating it with oreo ROM experience.
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21st January 2018, 09:10 PM |#2  
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How do you connect phone to lapdock to enable dex? I appreciate need to root but it doesn't have a HDMI port are you connecting through USB C as some people are saying struggling to get USB C monitors working

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22nd January 2018, 01:32 AM |#3  
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Originally Posted by r8dooo

How do you connect phone to lapdock to enable dex? I appreciate need to root but it doesn't have a HDMI port are you connecting through USB C as some people are saying struggling to get USB C monitors working

Thanks

It is using a USB-C connection. I won't say the connection is flawless, as sometimes it doesn't connect to the keyboard and mouse or having a non-HD output (simply re-plugging the phone does the work), but I won't say it is a struggle to make it work. It works like 90% of the time and when it is connected, we can use it without a problem (except the sound problem, see my explanation above).

Also, it have a micro Hdmi port. But, as far as I try, it doesn't work for mirroring the dex for another screen.
6th March 2018, 10:43 PM |#4  
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Thanks for this review.

I got the LapDock as well but sadly haven't been able to use it since Oreo Beta 3. Fingers crossed that one day Samsung will re-enable support for third party docks. Sigh...

I also found the trackpad experience particularly poor. The BT mouse is a good solution. Also I would sometimes have issues where if the USB-c cable were moved or nudged, DeX would reboot which is annoying as it takes quite a few seconds.

Also I found that the LapDock battery drains very fast when it is not in use. I would charge it to full, disconnect it from power and store it away. After only a week it would no longer have a charge.

I wonder if the new firmware makes a difference... I've been meaning to visit a Microsoft store to borrow an Elite x3 to use to update it. Do they even sell those anymore, though?
7th March 2018, 05:20 PM |#5  
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Originally Posted by Xombie11

Thanks for this review.

I got the LapDock as well but sadly haven't been able to use it since Oreo Beta 3. Fingers crossed that one day Samsung will re-enable support for third party docks. Sigh...

I also found the trackpad experience particularly poor. The BT mouse is a good solution. Also I would sometimes have issues where if the USB-c cable were moved or nudged, DeX would reboot which is annoying as it takes quite a few seconds.

Also I found that the LapDock battery drains very fast when it is not in use. I would charge it to full, disconnect it from power and store it away. After only a week it would no longer have a charge.

I wonder if the new firmware makes a difference... I've been meaning to visit a Microsoft store to borrow an Elite x3 to use to update it. Do they even sell those anymore, though?

Agree with all of your points..
Except, for the nudging cable problem.. I often changes my phone place but never once I encounter the DeX got rebooted because of missing connection..

Somehow, the battery drains very fast. I think it is caused by the lap dock only enters hibernate mode instead of totally turning off..

I also wonder about the firmware difference... I read on the news that the firmware "fixes" trackpad (enables it to have a right click instead of tapping it with two fingers), and something regarding battery indicator...
11th March 2018, 12:22 PM |#6  
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Well I have a friend who tested the Mirabook at CES and he said the experience was pretty smooth and well designed.
He tried with a Samsunsg S8 and DeX launched quickly while the mb charged the phone.
11th March 2018, 04:09 PM |#7  
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Originally Posted by Meleor

Well I have a friend who tested the Mirabook at CES and he said the experience was pretty smooth and well designed.
He tried with a Samsunsg S8 and DeX launched quickly while the mb charged the phone.

That's nice! Excited to hearing about it when it finally released!!

That means, at some time, if my hp lap dock went down and I want to change phone, I don't need to root my phone anymore
15th March 2018, 12:50 PM |#8  
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Good to see such a thread! I sport the elite Dock since december as well, and I may have posted an issue elsewhere, which I'll repeat here as well, the 45W chargers only work if they deliver 2.25A, so some 2A don't charge it for some reason. Also, I don't know if some usb-c cables are more potent than others, but while the provided usb-c cable works (it's quite short though) another one I took from a wall usb-c adapter doesn't even though it allows simple data transfer.
It's a shame that we can't update firmware, even from a Windows laptop. By the way, it totally doubles as an external monitor for a laptop either with miracast or by plugging it with the same usb-c.
It's also annoying that I haven't found a reliable way to power it off and not put it in idle mode, so sometimes it drains overnight :/
I'm putting it aside for now, and I'll wait for the 'Linux on DeX' thzt samsung promised us, that will be a game changer!
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15th March 2018, 02:42 PM |#9  
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Originally Posted by erclalle

Good to see such a thread! I sport the elite Dock since december as well, and I may have posted an issue elsewhere, which I'll repeat here as well, the 45W chargers only work if they deliver 2.25A, so some 2A don't charge it for some reason. Also, I don't know if some usb-c cables are more potent than others, but while the provided usb-c cable works (it's quite short though) another one I took from a wall usb-c adapter doesn't even though it allows simple data transfer.
It's a shame that we can't update firmware, even from a Windows laptop. By the way, it totally doubles as an external monitor for a laptop either with miracast or by plugging it with the same usb-c.
It's also annoying that I haven't found a reliable way to power it off and not put it in idle mode, so sometimes it drains overnight :/
I'm putting it aside for now, and I'll wait for the 'Linux on DeX' thzt samsung promised us, that will be a game changer!

Yeah.. I once panicked since I lost the charger.. Buying some 45W USB C charger doesn't help, and thankfully I finally found it back...

I think the way to turn it off is by pusing the power button for several seconds? I usually did that and helped the battery reserves...
15th March 2018, 03:58 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardustGeass

Yeah.. I once panicked since I lost the charger.. Buying some 45W USB C charger doesn't help, and thankfully I finally found it back...

I think the way to turn it off is by pusing the power button for several seconds? I usually did that and helped the battery reserves...

I actually did not want to use the stock charger since it uses USA power plugs (and I couldn't find the european end bit, even though it's a modular bit) so I used the Inotech 45W charger found on amazon, and it works!
15th March 2018, 04:03 PM |#11  
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Originally Posted by erclalle

I actually did not want to use the stock charger since it uses USA power plugs (and I couldn't find the european end bit, even though it's a modular bit) so I used the Inotech 45W charger found on amazon, and it works!

Wow, thanks for the input!
Could you share me the link? Thanks
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