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> Beelink Expand X USB-C Dock, Turn Your Smartphone/Tablet Into a PC (Review)

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TSvoncrane
post Apr 22 2021, 03:38 PM, updated 2y ago

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Hi all... Welcome to yet another in-depth review. This time I have with me the Beelink Expand X Dock. It is the first multifunctional gadget designed by Beelink. The simplified explanation is its a USB dock that comes with a foldable stand, allowing you to expand compatible devices such as laptops, game consoles like the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft's XBOX, smartphones & tablets into a desktop PC...or at minimum, offers the option to screen mirror onto a larger display.

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Many of us are quite familiar with multifunctional docks for our PCs. Especially with certain laptops with single or 2 USB Type-C ports. For those who want more, the logical thing to do is to go out and get a hub or docking station...something like this UGREEN Premium 7-in-1 USB-C Hub...immediately gaining extra ports. Thing is, some of us don't bother about doing the same for our smartphones or are blissfully unaware that we can actually increase the usefulness of our smartphones & tablets.. Which let's face it, have way more computing power today than a full-sized Desktop PC from a decade ago. Take the Apple iPhone 5S, it has 1300x more processing power than the computer that landed Apollo 11 on the Moon!!...

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Main Features
*Full metal body
*Screen mirroring projection
*Expand peripheral connections
*Support up to 4K UHD@30Hz output
*One-key switch between mode
*Extendible with Mobile phone, Computer, Laptop, and Tablet PC
*Weight: 210g/7.5oz
*Dimensions: 120mm by 65mm by 13mm
*Four colors: Iron Grey, Chinese Red, Argentate, and my personal favorite, this Navy-Blue color

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Box & HW Images
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

Box Contents
*The Beelink Expand X device
*A Multilingual manual
*1x USB-A to USB-C cable
*1x 0.2m USB-C to USB C cable
*1x 1.5m MicroUSB to USB-A cable, and
*1x 0.8m HDMI cable.

It is nice that they've included these cables in the box, as it allows you to be up and running immediately once it arrives... However, for this review, I've got a couple of cables laying around and so will be using my own cables. One of which is this USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 4K60Hz and 100W PD charging capable USB-C To USB-C Cable by UGREEN, another favorite manufacturer of mine.

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The Expand X has 2 well-built hinges or as Beelink describes it, a double shaft design. The bottom hinge allows 360-degree rotation and the entire device is made almost entirely from a magnesium-aluminum alloy and strategically placed silicone pads. A large pad on the bottom, a black circle & two pads on either side..All to protect your device from scratches and the Expand X from slipping around on the table, etc. From the images, we see there are 6 ports in total, with 3 on each side.
*2x USB2.0 Ports
*1x Micro-USB Port
*1x HDMI Port
*2x USB-C Ports (One port to connect your device and the other for power input. The Beelink Expand X can either be powered by the connected device OR externally powered. While externally powered, it allows power to be passed through to the connected device, charging it as well.)
There's also a Mode switch button that allows...you guessed it...mode switching between the "Computer Mode" and the "Extension Mode". Then there are 2 LEDs actually even though it only seems like it's only one. It glows Green in "Extension Mode" and Blue in "Computer Mode". I show all these in the video review down below.

For this review, I also used...
*Gamesir G4S Gamepad
*Logitech MK850 Performance Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo.
*Beelink Gemini T45 (Intel J4205) Mini PC, and the
*UGREEN All-in-One 65W GaN PD Fast Charger.
However, the Beelink Expand X can operate fully without external power and or a connected PC. But then, you won't be maximizing its full potential la and all connected peripherals like hard drives, game controllers, etc will drain your battery... But it is an option for those who simply want to connect the Expand X to a larger display (say in the living room or a hotel room, etc) run off the connected device's battery power, and output to a larger screen. Without worrying about other cables much...Recharge later.


Conclusion
The Beelink Expand X works best with phones that support desktop mode with powerful solutions like Samsung DEX (Samsung Galaxy S8 & Galaxy Note 8 upwards), Huawei EMUI, or Smartisan TNT, but the company also lists other models such as LG G5, the Razer Phone, Sony Xperia 1, OnePlus 7, and so on. Since it’s a multifunctional USB-C dock, you can also connect compatible laptops and computers with a USB-C port carrying data, audio, and video. I was able to achieve Netflix up to 1080p easily and I believe 4K UHD is achievable too. Was able to achieve YouTube playback res up to 4K UHD@30Hz.. So technically, it is perfect for those who have compatible phones, want full-res output, not worrying about Netflix certification, etc... Basically, as long as your phone can achieve 4K UHD with installed apps? I believe the same can be achieved using the Beelink Expand X. The image below is the official list of compatible devices supplied by Beelink. Although, it's far from conclusive. I'd say provided your device supports USB Type-C's DP Alt mode? You should be good. It is a mode that optionally supports non-USB signals including DisplayPort (DP) technology. This allows users to take advantage of multiple technologies all through a single cable, maximizing efficiency. Yay Science!!

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You can purchase the Beelink Expand X directly from the Beelink website or from their Indiegogo campaign. And if you purchase it during the campaign period, I believe Beelink will throw in those additional cables for free. It's currently being sold for $39.90 or RM165. It has always been a dream of mine to have a smartphone that also doubles as a full-fledged desktop computer, gaming console, & media playback powerhouse. This Beelink Expand X + Samsung DeX brings us terribly close to that world.

Purchase Links
Indiegogo
Official Website

SocMed URLs
Twitter
Facebook

This post has been edited by voncrane: Apr 23 2021, 07:25 PM
JayceOoi
post Apr 22 2021, 04:16 PM

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4K max at 30Hz or 60Hz?
TSvoncrane
post Apr 23 2021, 07:24 PM

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QUOTE(JayceOoi @ Apr 22 2021, 04:16 PM)
4K max at 30Hz or 60Hz?
*
It maxes out at 30Hz...Included above..

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m3ow
post Apr 30 2021, 11:52 AM

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Great review. now wanted to buy but cant find any seller in msia.

subscribed and liked.
keep it up.
TSvoncrane
post May 3 2021, 10:08 AM

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QUOTE(m3ow @ Apr 30 2021, 11:52 AM)
Great review. now wanted to buy but cant find any seller in msia.

subscribed and liked.
keep it up.
*
Hey, thanks for the compliments and show of support. Much appreciated. notworthy.gif

Beelink just started shipping the Expand X in April. So yeah, it'll be some time till is locally available for sale here. Just checked and it's not yet listed on Amazon, Aliexpress, or Banggod either. I'll contact them regarding this.. Thanks.

 

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