Chinese PC maker Beelink has released a number of interesting little computers over the past few years. Now the company is introducing something different: a dock that lets you use your smartphone or tablet as a desktop computer.
The Beelink Expand X is basically a portable USB-C dock with HDMI, USB-A, and USB-C ports that allow you to connect a display, mouse, keyboard, and other accessories.
But there are two things that make the Expand X interesting:
- It has a built-in stand that flips out to hold your phone or tablet while you’re using the dock.
- You can use it as a multi-device dock: plug in your phone and your PC, for example, and you can switch which your keyboard and mouse work with by pressing a button.
The Beelink Expand X is up for pre-order for about $40 through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and it’s expected to begin shipping globally at the start of April. While there’s always a bit of risk involved with crowdfunding, Beelink is an established company that seems to be using Indiegogo to raise awareness – the product has already been designed and it’s ready to ship.
In fact, if you’d prefer to order straight from Beelink’s website, you can already do that.
The Expand X features a magnesium-aluminum body that measures about 120mm x 65mm x 13mm (4.7″ x 2.6″ x 0.5″). It weighs about half an ounce, and it has a hinge that allows the phone/tablet holder to flip up so you can rest your mobile device in the stand.
It’s available in black, red, blue, and silver color options, and each model features:
- 1 x HDMI output (4K support)
- 2 x USB Type-A ports for keyboards, mice, or other peripherals
- 1 x USB Type-C input for charging
- 1 x USB Type-C input for connecting a phone, tablet, or other input device
- 1 x micro USB port for connecting a PC
While the USB-C port should allow you to connect a keyboard, mouse, and display, the micro USB port will most likely only support a keyboard and mouse, allowing you to choose which device (PC or phone) you want to control with the press of the mode button.