Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Samsung makes its productivity play with the Galaxy Note 8

Samsung makes its productivity play with the Galaxy Note 8

Samsung recently announced its latest premium smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8 at a flashy event in New York City, followed up very rapidly by opening up pre-orders for the device in Australia less than 24 hours later. That’s the fastest I think I’ve ever seen a newly announced device go to a sales channel, although actual devices won’t ship until September 22 in any case.

Samsung is hoping to erase the terrible failure it had in the Galaxy Note 7, which, if you remember, had to be recalled at massive expense owing to a battery failure that could lead to the devices spontaneously catching fire. Samsung sent out new Note 7 devices… and then they started catching fire as well. The Note 7 was essentially written off in most markets, although Samsung has re-engineered some Note 7 hardware for selected markets with (as per Samsung’s claim) significantly safer batteries.

As it’s done for some years, Samsung pitches the Note series as its productivity devices, thanks in large part to its sizeable 6.3 inch display on the Note 8 and the inclusion of an inbuilt stylus that Samsung dubs the “S-Pen”.

I’ve been a big fan of the Note series in recent years, but I don’t find I use the stylus all that much. Then again, I’m much more of a keyboard user in any case. Alongside the productivity focus, the Note 8 will also feature Samsung’s first dual lens camera on the rear, with options for both wide angle and telephoto photography. Samsung likes to think of the Note series as a productivity powerhouse, but the reality is that it has plenty of fans who are just regular consumers too.

The extra weapon that the Note 8 will be able to rely on is Samsung’s DeX docking station. This is the charging and screen relaying dock it launched back with the Samsung Galaxy S8 that promises a desktop-style experience when you drop your phone into the DeX dock. I’m yet to test out the Note 8 with a DeX dock, but I have had extensive testing experience with the Galaxy S8 and DeX to work out whether it lives up to Samsung’s claims. The Note 8 should be a little more powerful, and it’s promising better overall full-screen Android app compatibility, but can it really replace your laptop as a go-to machine?

I’ve got my doubts, based on what it’s like using the DeX dock with a Galaxy S8. For very basic, fundamentally web-based tasks it’s adequate, but really only just when compared to using a full laptop with proper multitasking and apps built for that environment. Pairing up the phone with a keyboard and screen is simple enough, and it’s useful that it will also charge the phone when docked, but the experience of working on what is still fundamentally a small-screen touch interface blown up full screen still isn’t overly competitive against even a mid-range laptop experience.

That’s not to say that it’s a solution with no users; I could well see certain work niches where it could work very well. A builder acquaintance of mine is a big fan of the Note series and uses the stylus frequently, as well as a little light email and invoice generation work from his phone. The prospect of dropping it into a dock and taking that fullscreen after a day’s work could be a real lifesaver for him.

Ultimately the DeX dock is just an add-on for what’s already a premium priced phone. If you’re already keen to upgrade to the Note 8 (or for that matter, you’ve got a Galaxy S8 already) it’s reasonably priced at $199, and works acceptably well for what it is. Will it replace everyone’s laptop along the way? It’s not likely, but it does bring focus to the fact that today’s smartphones are getting very powerful over time.


Recent News

Later this year, Apple will start selling a new Mac computer. While Apple – like most technology firms – loves a bit of hyperbole, it’s absolutely going to be true to say that this will be a Mac like no Mac ever before. That’s because amidst announcements around new versions of its iOS, iPadOS, WatchOS

Microsoft diversified its Surface portfolio of tablet devices a number of years back to include more laptop-style designs, including the Surface Laptop – no prizes for guessing what that is – and the Surface Book design. At first glance you might just think that the Surface Book is just another Surface Laptop with a weird

Adobe is one of the big names in productivity software, with the vast majority of creative professionals relying heavily on applications like Premiere Pro, Audition and especially Adobe Photoshop. For better or worse, Photoshop is the expected default image editor for everything from print publications to the web, so much so that it’s often used

I’ve been writing about the Internet for long enough now that I’ve seen every iteration to date of the competition in the web browser space; from simple browsers like the original NCSA Mosaic which made way for the browser that dominated the early visual web, Netscape Navigator, through Firefox, Opera and Google’s near-dominant Chrome browser

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More