As a part of its effort to build out an ecosystem of connected devices, Samsung has put a lot into its Galaxy Book line of laptops. On the latest Galaxy Book 3 series, Samsung has upgraded its Multi-Control feature that, frankly, not enough folks know about.

Multi-Control on the Galaxy Book series has been around for a little while, and allows the keyboard, mouse, and clipboard to sync across devices. Previously, the feature only worked with tablets, but the Galaxy Book 3 series and the One UI 5.1 update expands that to smartphones.

Setting up Multi-Control on the Galaxy Book 3 and a Samsung smartphone, in this case the Galaxy S23 Ultra, is pretty simple. In the “Connected Devices” menu on your phone, enable “Multi-Control.” Then, on the laptop, you’ll need to be signed into the same Samsung account and turn on Multi-Control under the same “Connected Devices” section.

Once set up, Multi-Control essentially allows your phone (or tablet) to work as a second monitor for your laptop, but without showing content from the laptop itself. Instead, your keyboard, mouse, and clipboard are simply extended to your phone within Android. This allows you to not only drag and drop content from your phone and laptop to the other device, but also to use your laptop’s trackpad and keyboard to control your phone without touching it. With a simple phone stand, it’s a killer option for a mobile workstation.

Of course, the other point of integration that Samsung has been using is Link to Windows, which can stream your phone remotely. But, personally, I’ve found this is much more useful because you can unlock your phone using its PIN, all without touching the device.

Does it sound familiar? That’s because it’s a whole lot like Apple’s “Universal Control,” which allows for the same set of features between macOS and iPadOS. Last year, it’s a feature that 9to5Mac’s Chance Miller called “worth the wait.” But, notably, Apple’s take only works from computer to iPad, not on iPhone.

This under-promoted feature of Samsung’s laptops is certainly a selling point for Galaxy smartphone owners because it has endless utilities but, beyond that, it’s just super cool. We’d love to see Google offer something similar in ChromeOS for the wider Android market, but in the meantime, it’s commendable that Samsung is building out its own ecosystem like this.

Samsung offers this feature across the entire Galaxy Book 3 lineup, which starts at $1,299.

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Ben Schoon

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