12:26 15 January 2016

Microsoft Display Dock

Microsoft Display Dock


Microsoft’s £80 adapter turns its Lumia 950 and 950XL phones into tiny, low-powered desktop PCs

A glimpse of the future 'desktop'A glimpse of the future ‘desktop’

Computers used to be gargantuan, room-filling devices, but technology has marched forwards. Thanks to decades of miniaturisation, we now have incredibly powerful, versatile computers that fit in a pocket – smartphones. Now, however, we’re ready to take another leap forward. With its £80 Display Dock, Microsoft is transforming its Lumia smartphones into miniature desktop PCs.

The Display Dock is designed to take full advantage of Windows 10 Mobile’s headline feature, Continuum. Connect your Lumia 950 or 950XL phone to the Display Dock via a USB-C cable, and you can hook up a full-sized monitor via HDMI or DisplayPort, and connect up to three USB devices – enough for a keyboard, mouse and a printer, for example.

Once connected, the familiar Windows 10 desktop springs into view. One current limitation is that Continuum only works with so-called Universal Apps, so not all of your apps will work on the big screen. At the time of writing, big names such as Netflix, Skype, Spotify and Twitter are yet to update their apps to support the feature, but Microsoft’s office favourites such as Word, Excel, OneNote, Outlook and Onedrive are all ready and raring to go. Yes, it’s what we’ve all been waiting for: the ability to properly edit spreadsheets on our smartphones.

It’s an intriguing idea, but is the Microsoft Display Dock truly a glimpse into the future of computing? Would it make you want to swap your Android or iOS phone for one of Microsoft’s Lumias? Let us know in the comments below.

Want the full low-down on the Microsoft Display Dock? Click here to read Alphr.com’s in-depth review.

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