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Shoneel Kolhatkar on why Samsung brought the Galaxy Note’s S Pen to a PC

As one of the largest technology companies in the world, Samsung was omnipresent at CES 2018, with a host of new and enhanced products. In personal computing, its most significant introductions include a pair of new pen-enabled notebooks in the Notebook 7 Spin and the Notebook 9 Pen, to go along with a long-lasting Notebook 9, and some enhanced displays that improve performance and quality.

Shoneel Kolhatkar, Samsung Senior Director, Product Marketing, stopped by the Digital Trends booth and began his session talking about the Notebook 9 Pen. This is a 13.3-inch convertible 2-in-1 that brings Samsung’s extensive S Pen capabilities to a Windows 10 notebook. Kolhatkar described the Notebook 9 Pen as “the best of productivity and the best of portability,” and went on to focus on the functionality brought to Samsung notebooks by the S Pen software.

Next, Kolhatkar discussed the importance of the “prosumer,” or the typical consumer who uses PCs to get work done. Clearly, Samsung is focused on providing solutions that meet the needs of consumers — watching video and playing casual games, for example — while providing real productivity enhancements like the Action Memo utility that allows users to take a screenshot, draw, and more on any web page and the S Notes app that allows user to create notes while saving audio recordings and syncing everything to the Samsun cloud.

Kothatkar also discussed Samsung’s desire to match PC functionality to that provided by Samsung smartphones. For example, the S Pen from a Samsung Note 8 will work on the Notebook 9 Pen and vice versa. And, the notebook can be synced with a Samsung smartphone for transferring notes and other information that’s created using the S Pen technology.

There’s more to learn, including an overview of Samsung’s other laptop offering, the Notebook 9, which skips the S Pen but packs in a 75 watt-hour battery for up to 19 hours of battery life and tosses in an Nvidia discrete GPU for enhanced graphics capabilities. Check out the video for more on Samsung at CES 2018, including an overview of Samsung’s general strategy to leverage its success in smartphones to help grow its presence in notebooks as well as where its Bixby digital assistant fits into the picture.

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The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus weren't the only new products Samsung announced at Mobile World Congress -- there's also a new accessory called the Dex Pad, a follow up to last year's Dex Station. Like the Galaxy S9, the Dex Pad fixes a lot of problems with its predecessor, and it'll be available for purchase starting May 13.
Price and release date
Samsung has surprised us a little with the pricing for the Dex Pad. We assumed the accessory would cost the same as last year's $150 Dex Station, but the Dex Pad will launch at the cool price of $100. While there's no mention of early shipments for pre-orders, anyone buying a new Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus from Samsung will also be able to get a free Dex Pad with their purchase for a limited amount of time in April. As always, we've updated our S9 and S9 Plus buying guide with the details so you can be sure to get the best deal.
What does the Dex Pad do?
If you're not sure what the fuss is, the Dex Pad and older Dex Station are docks that connect to a computer monitor through an HDMI cable. Plug your Galaxy S9 into the dock, and you'll see a desktop version of Android launch on the monitor. You can connect a mouse and keyboard and work from this mode just as you would a normal PC, along with access to your Android apps. The platform requires certain optimizations from third-party app developers, which is why unsupported apps will look like the phone app instead of a more space-utilizing desktop app.

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