NexDock Touch review: The best lapdock you can get


Earlier this 12 months, I reviewed the NexDock 2, the then-latest lapdock from Nex Computers. While that was a terrific machine, it wasn’t with out its flaws. Thankfully, the 2020 NexDock Touch solves fairly a number of of these points. In this NexDock Touch evaluate, I’m going to go over every thing you must find out about it!

If that is your first time listening to of a lapdock, don’t fear: I’m going to elucidate what they’re and the way they work. Let’s dive in.

This is Android Authority‘s NextDock Touch evaluate.

About this NexDock Touch evaluate: I used the NexDock Touch related to a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Nex Computers offered Android Authority with a retail model of the machine for the needs of this evaluate.

What is a lapdock?

NexDock Touch Review Idle State

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

With a traditional laptop computer, you get an all-in-one private pc expertise. That features a CPU, GPU, arduous drive, RAM, and, most significantly, an working system to work together with all of it. With a lapdock, you don’t get any of that. Instead, you get a chassis, show, keyboard, battery, and ports for connecting another machine that may act because the “computer” of the laptop computer.

The thought is that your lapdock could possibly be a number of machines relying on what you connect with it. You can hook up an Android smartphone and get an Android-based laptop computer. Or, you might hook up a Raspberry Pi and get a Linux-based machine. You might even hook up an iPad and get a dual-display iPad OS laptop computer. The sky’s the restrict.

Related: The best laptops you can get right now

Lapdocks will not be simply versatile, but additionally environmentally pleasant. Lots of individuals purchase low-cost laptops they toss within the trash a number of years later. Instead, they might purchase a lapdock after which by no means must improve once more. Since there’s nothing within the lapdock that may change into out of date anytime quickly, this could possibly be the final laptop computer you purchase for a decade.

The backside line right here is {that a} lapdock is simply pretty much as good because the system you connect with it. With smartphones changing into as highly effective as they’re at this time, you could possibly be carrying round a PC-quality expertise in your pocket. All you want is an interface, which is what a lapdock just like the NexDock Touch gives.

NexDock Touch evaluate: At a look

NexDock Touch Review NexDock Logo Closeup

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

The NexDock Touch, as its title implies, is a touchscreen-enabled lapdock. It is the primary machine from Nex Computers with a contact show and is priced at $269.

A touchscreen may not be integral for utilizing a lapdock with a single-board pc, resembling a Raspberry Pi, as most Linux techniques aren’t designed with contact in thoughts. However, smartphones definitely are, and a touchscreen show makes good sense when utilizing a lapdock in tandem with a smartphone. The lack of a touchscreen show on the NexDock 2 was the largest grievance I had in my evaluate.

The NexDock Touch has a touchscreen show, making it good to be used in tandem with a smartphone or pill.

Outside of the touchscreen and the revamped show design, this latest NexDock is similar to the NexDock 2. The keyboard is sort of equivalent, the aluminum chassis is of an analogous design, and even the colorway is remarkably much like the older mannequin. See the following part for extra on this.

Since the NexDock Touch is a lapdock, your expertise utilizing it’s going to closely rely upon what you connect to it for computing energy. For this evaluate, I solely used a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. I selected this due to the Samsung Dex function that’s good for a system resembling this. Dex swaps out Samsung’s One UI Android pores and skin for a Windows-like UI. It’s preferrred to be used with a keyboard and mouse. Since Android doesn’t have a secure native desktop interface choice but, Samsung flagships are the best telephones to make use of with lapdocks (though some LG and Huawei telephones additionally provide a desktop mode).

What you must know earlier than you purchase

If the NexDock Touch (or lapdocks generally) sounds attention-grabbing to you, there are some essential issues you must know. Keep the next in thoughts earlier than you purchase:

  • Only sure telephones will work effectively: As talked about earlier, solely sure telephones have a desktop mode (flagships from Samsung, LG, and Huawei). You can see the compatibility record here. Phones made by different OEMs is not going to have a local desktop mode and might be very cumbersome to make use of with a lapdock. There are methods round this, although. This article on XDA-Developers reveals the right way to use a hacked model of Android’s unactivated desktop mode.
  • The NexDock itself solely has rudimentary controls: With the NexDock Touch related to a telephone or different system, you can alter some settings. Display brightness and quantity settings can be modified. You can additionally allow/disable the trackpad, verify the NexDock’s battery standing, management media, and so forth. However, fine-tuning your expertise will rely in your system. For instance, you can’t alter trackpad settings, gestures, and different options with the NexDock. Those are depending on the telephone/pc you’ve hooked up to it.
  • There’s no webcam: Because of how lapdocks work, there’s no want for a webcam or microphone to be built-in. For video calls, you’ll must detach your telephone from the NexDock. If you have a single-board pc, you can use a third-party USB-based webcam.
  • Touchscreen entry will rely in your system: The NexDock touchscreen labored simply high-quality with my Galaxy S20 Ultra. However, it is not going to work with iPads, for instance, as a result of Apple doesn’t enable contact entry from secondary shows. In different phrases, you ought to verify forward of time in case your deliberate system will help the NexDock’s contact show.

I’m mentioning this stuff right here as a result of they’re drawbacks that aren’t the fault of Nex Computers and so they shouldn’t have an effect on my evaluate of this product. These are simply inherent issues with the entire idea of lapdocks.

NexDock Touch vs NexDock 2: What’s new?

NexDock Touch Review with NexDock 2 Lids Open

NexDock Touch on left, NexDock 2 on proper.

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Below, you’ll discover a full specs sheet evaluating the NexDock Touch to the NexDock 2. With solely a fast look, you can see that these machines are extremely comparable.

Here are the massive adjustments for the NexDock Touch:

  • A 14.1-inch touchscreen show as an alternative of a 13.3-inch non-touchscreen
  • An 8,000mAh battery as an alternative of a 6,800mAh one
  • A barely thicker physique (~2mm)

Other than these adjustments, there actually isn’t a lot distinction between the 2 fashions so far as specs go. However, specs don’t inform the entire story. For instance, the laptop computer has a considerably larger show however the bodily dimensions keep about the identical. This means the bezels of the laptop computer are a lot, a lot smaller, which is a welcome change.

The battery can be considerably bigger whereas the load of the laptop computer stays precisely the identical. With the NexDock 2, I acquired about seven hours of use with the Galaxy S20 Ultra hooked up. With the NexDock Touch, I acquired over 9 hours of use. That’s with the backlit keyboard turned off and the show at 50% brightness. That’s simply superior.

  NexDock Touch (2020) NexDock 2 (2019)
Display 14.1-inch IPS
Touch-enabled
1,920 x 1,080 decision
16:9 side ratio
13.3-inch IPS
No contact capacity
1,920 x 1,080 decision
16:9 side ratio
Battery 60 Wh
8,000mAh
7.6V
60 Wh
6,800mAh
7.6V
Ports USB-C 3.1 with DisplayPort
Full-sized HDMI-in (1.4a) Port
USB-C PD Charging Port
USB-C 3.0
USB-A 3.0
3.5mm headphone jack
MicroSDXC port
USB-C 3.1 with DisplayPort
Full-sized HDMI-in (1.4a) Port
USB-C PD Charging Port
USB-C 3.0
USB-A 3.0
3.5mm headphone jack
MicroSDXC port
Audio 4x 1W audio system 4x 1W audio system
Keyboard Full-sized backlit keyboard
Multi-touch trackpad
Full-sized backlit keyboard
Multi-touch trackpad
Dimensions and weight 319 x 206 x 17.9mm
1,420g (~3.1lbs)
317 x 215 x 15.9mm
1,420g (~3.1lbs)
In-box contents NexDock
45W USB-C PD Charger with 1.8m cable
US, UK, EU, AU charger plug heads
USB-C to USB-C cable for telephones
USB-C to USB-A and micro-USB Y-Splitter cable
HDMI to HDMI cable
HDMI to Micro-HDMI adapter
Micro-USB to USB-C adapter
Quick Start Guide
NexDock
45W USB-C PD Charger with 1.8m cable
US, UK, EU, AU charger plug heads
USB-C to USB-C cable for telephones
USB-C to USB-A and micro-USB Y-Splitter cable
HDMI to HDMI cable
HDMI to Micro-HDMI adapter
Micro-USB to USB-C adapter
Quick Start Guide

What I like concerning the NexDock Touch

NexDock Touch Review with Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and Cable

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Display

The show on the NexDock 2 was nice, and the show on its successor is simply pretty much as good however with contact controls. This made utilizing the NexDock Touch with the Galaxy S20 Ultra a complete pleasure.

Battery life

The NexDock 2 noticed terrific battery life, particularly when in comparison with Windows-based laptops at this value level. However, the NexDock Touch will get even higher battery life. I noticed 9 hours of utilization throughout a session, which is simply unbelievable. You might work for a complete day away from an outlet with this. And since your telephone leeches battery energy from the NexDock, when you unplug it, you’ll be at 100%. Perfect!

In-box contents

If you return to the specs part of this evaluate, you can see what cables you’ll get together with your NexDock Touch. Nex consists of just about each cable you’ll want to connect no matter you should the lapdock. What’s extra, these are high-quality thick cables.

What I dislike concerning the NexDock Touch

Weight

The hefty weight of the NexDock 2 was an enormous grievance in my evaluate. Unfortunately, the NexDock Touch weighs the identical. However, I’ll admit that Nex’s capacity to make the battery larger whereas conserving the load the identical makes me much less upset about this. Still, this is likely to be a five-star machine if Nex might get the load down.

Audio

The 4 1W audio system on this laptop computer will not be nice. The headphone jack makes up for it, however I discovered that the audio from the Galaxy S20 Ultra was truly higher than what I heard from the lapdock. Thankfully, you can select to bypass the lapdock audio if you end up of the identical opinion.

Instructions

Nex features a Quick Start Guide with the NexDock Touch that reveals you the right way to hook up numerous techniques. However, there aren’t any in-depth directions on the right way to do every thing. I’m assuming Nex doesn’t trouble as a result of its consumer base might be tech-savvy of us. However, even a easy desk with all of the obtainable keyboard shortcuts could be welcome.

Value for cash and options

NexDock Touch Review with Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Plugged In Web Browsing

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

During this NexDock Touch evaluate, the machine’s $269 price ticket was much like most funds laptops. That means its direct opponents are Chromebooks and Windows-based laptops below the $300 value level.

Obviously, the benefit you’ll have with any Chromebook or Windows laptop computer is the all-in-one nature of these techniques. You gained’t want a selected sort of telephone for it to work, there’s a built-in webcam, plus all of the keyboard shortcuts you already know and perceive will work.

Related: The best Chromebooks under $300

Of course, you’ll miss out on the flexibility of a lapdock. You’ll additionally possible must improve your funds laptop computer in a number of years, whereas the NexDock Touch might final you for a decade or extra.

If you are bought on a lapdock however not bought on the NexDock Touch, sadly, you don’t have many different choices. Both Samsung and HP beforehand made lapdocks, however they’ve lengthy been discontinued. There are a lot of Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaigns for lapdocks, however most by no means get off the bottom. If you actually desire a lapdock, the NexDock Touch is, with out query, your best choice.

You even have the choice of shopping for a travel monitor, Bluetooth keyboard, and Bluetooth mouse. Using these three objects, you might replicate a lapdock expertise on the go, clearly with out the ease-of-use of a pre-built machine.

The solely different suggestion could be to construct a lapdock your self, which might be an enormous endeavor.

NexDock Touch Probably the best lapdock you can purchase in the meanwhile.

The NexDock Touch is a terrific lapdock. It permits you to make use of your telephone, pill, or single-board pc with a laptop computer interface. It is a extremely cool thought for a product, however it’s going to possible solely enchantment to very particular customers.

NexDock Touch evaluate: Gallery

NexDock Touch evaluate: The verdict

NexDock Touch Review with Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Plugged In

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

If somebody requested me, “what’s the best lapdock I can get?” I might inform them the NexDock Touch with none hesitation. However, that response isn’t completely as a result of how nice the NexDock Touch is, but additionally simply the truth that there isn’t actually any competitors on the market.

The verdict is that if you desire a lapdock, the NexDock Touch is your best and solely alternative. Thankfully, what you get right here is fairly unbelievable, so kudos to Nex for not phoning it in when it might very effectively have finished so.

If you desire a lapdock, the NexDock Touch is your solely alternative — fortunately, it is an ideal one.

The NexDock Touch is at the moment $269 and to get one, you must put down a $100 deposit with the rest due when the lapdock ships. As of publishing, the lead time for cargo is January 2021, so don’t count on to get this for a vacation present. Also, for our worldwide associates, Nex Computers is releasing silicone keyboard covers someday earlier than the tip of the 12 months. Supported languages might be German, French, Nordic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese.

As far as I’m involved, $269 is a wonderfully affordable value for this. The battery life is astounding, the construct high quality is nice (if just a bit too heavy). The premium in-box cabling is definitely value $50 by itself.

I’ve seen folks on-line saying {that a} lapdock like this could solely price $150 or much less. While that’s definitely one thing opponents ought to think about, the NexDock Touch seems like it’s value $269 — the truth is, I feel $269 is a complete cut price for what you get.

It might be attention-grabbing to see if extra competitors involves the lapdock house in 2021. For now, although, the NexDock Touch is the best lapdock available on the market.


That’s a wrap for our NexDock Touch evaluate. Are you fascinated with lapdocks? Is the NexDock Touch one thing you would think about shopping for?


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