Samsung is still speculating there’s a future in the phone-based evolution of computers.

If phones are growing predictable, maybe it’s the accessories that go with them that can be strong. The latest case in point is Samsung’s latest DeX Pad — started today alongside the company’s new 2018 flagship phones, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. It’s a second-generation docking station designed to convert those new phones into PC-style workstations in corporate environments.

I used last year’s version, the DeX dock, to turn a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 into my work computer. The experiment worked better than I expected. I could file stories, use my company’s browser-based content management system and access Google apps just fine. All I needed was a mouse, a monitor and Samsung’s dock to bridge the phone into becoming a “lite” Android computer.

For 2018, the DeX Pad utilizes Samsung’s new S9 into a touchpad driving a PC-style experience you can use a plug-in monitor. The DeX Pad is only for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus for now. But it may ultimately get an update that’ll let it work with the S8.

Some of the new DeX Pad benefits are definite advantages. It can attach to a monitor at 2K resolution, up from the 1080p max of its predecessor. But because the vented dock uses the phone’s screen while the touchpad. It plugs in using the phone’s USB-C port — it prevents access to the rear fingerprint sensor for login. Samsung suggests you use a PIN code, or iris scan open, but iris scanning would require placing over the DeX.

The DeX Pad by itself: a flat dock

There last two USB 2.0 ports and HDMI out on the dock, for solid keyboards, mice, or other accessories. When nothing else is plugged in, the brand-new dock defaults to making the S9 screen a virtual touchpad and soft keyboard.

The DeX Pad connected to a monitor: it’s a multi-window workspace, and the phone’s the trackpad

I got to try DeX Pad and the S9 together, but only with the touchpad. The soft keyboard feature wasn’t ready yet. Scrolling through apps was okay. But I occasionally missed having haptic feedback or any “click” to tell me whether my tapping was registered. I don’t click my MacBook trackpad a ton, but it sometimes comes in handy.