The company behind the Mirabook laptop dock that lets you use your smartphone as a notebook computer have launched a new, cheaper accessory called the MiraDock that lets you use your smartphone like a desktop PC.
Available for pre-order for 139 € (about $147), the MiraDock is expected to ship in the first quarter of 2023.
The docking station is a small not-quite-cube-shaped device with a USB-C connector on the front, allowing you to connect compatible smartphones.
On the back you’ll find a set of ports that includes:
- 1 x HDMI output
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 1 x USB Type-C (for data)
- 1 x USB Type-C (for power)
- 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
- 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
- 1 x SD card reader
- 1 x microSD card reader
- 1 x 3.5mm audio
The idea is that you can plug in your smartphone and then use the dock to connect a display, keyboard, mouse, storage devices, or other accessories. You will need a phone that supports video output over a USB port. And you’ll probably get the best results if you’re also using a phone that offers a desktop mode when used with an external display.
But a growing number of phones fit that description, including phones that support Samsung’s DeX software, Motorola’s Ready For, or Huawei’s Easy Projection.
Miraxess says that you can even connect two devices to the MiraDock at once by using the USB-C port on the back of the dock, and then press the button on top of the device to switch devices. This lets you quickly toggle between using your display, mouse, and keyboard with your phone or your laptop, for example.
The company debuted the MiraDock at CES in January and is showcasing it at Mobile World Congress this week, where Charbax got a chance to see a demonstration.
In other Miraxess-related news, the company recently raised $2.5 million Euros in VC funding, and committed part of that money toward issuing refunds to Kickstarter backers who never received their Mirabook laptop docks after giving money to Miraxess between 2017 and 2019.
Looks like the Motorola Atrix concept
Welcome to Windiws Phone features from literally 10 years ago.
Yup. From 2016.
I had MS phone.
They really dropped the ball on that one. Companies could have used the phone and had the docking station for mobile workers.
Not for google pixel users(
No hdmi Alt Mode support.
To make things worse, Chromecast used to be helpful. At the beginning Chromecast has support to cast most videos from html websites. Now it’s a hit or miss unless I cast tab from desktop. Casting from an app works, but what’s the point if you can’t cast what you want. I’ve had my original 2 devices since they were released, but there is no point in ever updating.
A fancier version of usb c hub / dock
I’m actually happy to it, this is actually the kind of technology I have been wanting to see for smart phones. They need to do a better job we xpkainf compatibility. I can see it being kid of pointless in the same sense though. Cell phones are less capable. I would prefer them purely making a the usbc like they did with mini hdmi. I might give one a shot.
All connections through a single usb port won’t be fast enough.
For 50$ it’ll make sense, but in our case – very slow PC for the price of raspberry PI is a pretty lame idea.
My laptops all dock through a single USBc port.
Looks tempting, but I’m not sure about picking that over the NexDock or the UPERFECT X.
If you want a PC desktop why don’t you get a real one? If you want a cheap desktop you can get a Raspberry PI 400 for less than that dock and more power than most smart phones.
Maybe does it works with my nintendo switch ?
I sort of think people who buy these things either don’t really know what using Android in desktop mode is like, or just really want to play slideshows of photos on their phone on a TV and see this as the simplest solution, or use it for conferences, or otherwise think they might need it in some other scenario so as to not try other people’s patience. Maybe they’d use it to play some games.
And you’ve got to understand, there are people out there now who could just get a used business desktop for this price that’ll do whatever they want basically fine, but just…don’t like desktops or laptops, but understand their phones at least. Sure, I think they’re wrong, but that’s not going to persuade anyone to buy a computer they don’t understand.
Most phones are more powerful than the Raspberry Pi 4. The raspberry might be more versatile, and definitely cheaper, but it’s it’s not particularly powerful, especially not when compared to phones.
I agree about the raw horsepower, but it’s useless power. It’s like having 800hp on a seadoo when you need a truck to move a couch. Phones have Mickey mouse operating systems and will continue to be more and more useless. The more secure a device gets, the less usable, the easier to use, the less you can do. It’s a bad trade off, at one point android was usable as a desktop replacement, that all disappeared now. I would love to be back to the old days of rooting, but it’s completely useless today.
Yeah, but remember, a lot of people do nothing more than word processing, web surfing and doom scrolling.
You might not want a phone for coding, but for the above it’s good enough normally and can even do some basic video editing and such.
If I were doing simple video editing, the kind you could do on something like kinemaster, then I’d take a phone over the Raspberry Pi any day. Same goes for watching videos, or multi-tasking the aforementioned apps. Heck, even emulation is better on Android.
And yeah, for some work flows I have used my tablet in desktop mode rather than doing the stuff on my computer. Sometimes the simplicity of an Android app is actually preferable to a desktop app. An example is scanner apps. They’ve gotten quite good and specialized thanks to the hardware they’re run on. It’s much easier to do what one does with them on a phone than trying to replicate the same thing on a computer (you can, and you might get more advanced capabilities, but it’s not easier).
But no, I will not be replacing my Windows computer with my phone (and if I used Linux I wouldn’t replace that either).
But that’s kind of the thing, if it works for what you need, and has more horsepower, isn’t that good?
I agree, actually, I’ve only had a smartphone for several years due to sickness and unplanned moves. My father in law is getting me a real laptop and I am soo excited, there are certain games that can’t be played on a smartphone, only with a PC, and there are certain office docs that I can’t run on my phone.
I see people who only use smartphones as their primary device. Just go to r/SamsungDeX.
Will pixel phones work with this?
No, it requires video output over usb-c and google always disables that to sell more chromecasts.
If you root it, I think it’ll work. But the real solution is the get displayport. That will 100 percent work. Chromecast is so cheap now that id just go for that. Ideal? not really, but it works.
Video output is a hardware-level requirement, so no amount of rooting can enable it. As for Chromecast, maybe it’ll work with wireless screen casting but not all smartphone brand has wirelese Desktop Mode.
The little charging port that the phone sits on looks like a disaster waiting to happen. If the phone gets knocked out or yanked out incorrectly, I’m afraid the little charger bit would snap and get stuck in the phone.
Otherwise, seems like an intriguing product. Would be concerned about the phone heating up.
Not *quite cube shaped*
quite rite. 🙂
You mean “Quiet Riot”?
Yeah don’t support them. Never got my mirabook after backing them originally. Still waiting for my “refund”
Wow. This is what my Moto G100, errr, “docking station”, should be from te very beginning. But Motorola’s idea was to provide a stand with USB-C port only and weird USB-C to HDMI cable with charging port on the HDMI side of the plug and no other ports.
I 100% agree with all the comments about using a phone from USB power only. Not killing your battery while using a phone in desktop mode should be so obvious.
Love the KVM, hate the price. In the end, some no-name USB-C hub for fraction of the price does the job for me now.
I’m surprised this company still exists after how long it took to start shipping their lapdock.
It feels a little pricey, but otherwise I like it! I think the built-in KVM was a smart addition.
Hopefully they don’t have the ethernet issue that a lot of other docks have where they take down your network when power and ethernet remain connected but the phone/computer is disconnected. I have a CalDigit dock that needed a firmware update to resolve that, and I have an Anker hub that still does it if I’m not careful about the order I disconnect things.
Yeah, it’s missing cooling for the back and a snug bit at the base. 50 euro too high?
Wonder if you can stop charging battery without rooting phone.
Agreed – phone manufacturers really need to get better about this.
I really want to see more phones with bypass/pass-through charging where it runs on power from the USB port and leaves the battery out of the loop entirely. I think the recent ROG Phones support this, not sure about others.
Some Lenovo devices do as well (their y700 tablet and at least one of their gaming phones)
Logic is not allowed for smart phone designers and most of it’s users.
How is this different from a regular usb-c hub for $30 with 1 hdmi, 2 usb-a, couple usb-c?
I’ve never seen a usb-c hub which has usb-C video out, they normally only have one usb-c port and it’s for power delivery only
If normal hubs had this selection ports it’d be a different story
$30 usb-c hub producers don’t consider themselfes a “premium brand”, like Miradudes do, mostly.
Also, it is the first one I saw with a KVM built in, so there is that.
I use both a laptop and a phone as dsktop devices, so this sounds nice. But not with that price tag. I have random chinese brand docking station with all the same ports and some additional video out options on top of that, bought for around 25$. I won’t pay additional 100+$ for KVM functionality.
What Chinese brand docking do you use?
I use one branded with UOEOS logo, PN (I assume, product number): UCH123.