• Use the Galaxy Nexus as a desktop computer

    By Chris Ward , February 10, 2012 - Leave a comment

    The video below is a demonstration of how you can use a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (or any other handset with video out) as a desktop computer. The Nexus is perhaps the best example at the moment with its ICS capability and powerful processor. The same setup with a Samsung Galaxy Note could be good as well, perhaps replacing the need for a tablet in some cases. This is certainly the road that convergence technology will take as phones become more powerful, working from one or two devices in various locations/setups.

    Chris Ward

    Better known as 'Wardy', digital media is where his interest lies. Responsible for many elements of the Clove website and external advertising activities, Wardy is our interactive media graduate. Always chilled out, there is never a time when you see 'Wardy' stressed. A keen music follower, he knows his DJ's and how to mix a few tracks together. Always eating, he remains stick thin and is the envy of the rest of us! A very deep character, there are some suprising twists to what Wardy knows and you'll never meet a nicer bloke if you tried!


  • I think its the right model for the future. Loads of people like my mom cant handle computers properly enough to do stuff or sort out stuff when computers go wrong, but the same people can and do use mobile phones easily. If such people want a device for surfing and checking emails and photos then buying a computer is a waste when a smart phone hooked up to their TV with MHL cables and Bluetooth keyboard/trackpad is a much better option and more portable too while travelling. Thinking of doing this setup for my mom with a smartphone (or even cheaper samsung galaxy 5″ media player although dont know if it has an mhl port) and TV instead of a cheap netbook.

    But wondering how well the USB will survive if the mhl port is used regularly apart from the usual charging.

    Does the samsung all share feature or kies air feature support phone screen mirroring, then that would get rid of the need for an MHL cable and all would be wireless.

    • Yea that’s not a bad idea Vinay.

      Perhaps consider a handset that has a MicroHDMI port instead of MHL, then it’s even less hassle to connect/disconnect. I think I will do this when the Xperia S comes out.

      Not sure about samsung all share or kies, I dare say Mr. Patterson will know.

  • how did you hook up the monitor and other pereferals to the Galaxy? i wonder if it would work with other phones as well.

    • Hi Vince,

      The video was not created by us, but I can explain how things were connected:

      The display/monitor is connected using an MHL cable, which connects to the handset via its microUSB port and connects to the display via a microHDMI cable. With MHL the sound is played back through the display/monitor provided that it has speakers built into it.

      The keyboard and trackpad are connected via Bluetooth.

  • Chris, do you actually USE this setup a few times a week or even daily, or were you doing it simply as a tech demo? I will be upgrading to a Galaxy Nexus (or possibly a Droid RAZR Maxx due to its long battery life!) within the next week or so, and I may also sell my 1stGen iPad so that I might converge a lot of my *casual* note-taking at work, as well as personal blogging and social networking into my new phone. Do you think the setup you’ve demonstrated here is usable on a daily basis for those tasks? Thanks for the video, this is quite intriguing…

    • Hi Mike,

      Good to hear from you. The video wasn’t filmed by myself I’m afraid, but it is something that I will be trying in the near future. I will be choosing my next device with this in mind. For the last week I have been using the Galaxy Note, this may be a worthwhile consideration for you depending on how you feel about its size. It would be connected in the same way as the Nexus is in the video. A couple of advantages that the Note has over the Nexus are a MicroSD slot and stylus. Its larger screen could also be useful if you are ditching your tablet. Other options that I am considering are a Sony Xperia S with a Livedock/Smartdock, or the One X with the HTC Media Link HD. I think one of these setups would be fine for what you have described, provided that you have a reliable internet connection in the main locations that you will be using it. Please let me know what you do opt for; I will be interested to know how it is working out for you.

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