HP announced their new Elite x3 smartphone powered by Windows 10 Mobile and while it is super powerful (see the full specs list) it's the two docking accessories and Continuum that earns it the "times 3" designation.
Let's take a closer look at the Elite x3's Desk Dock and Lap Dock laptop.Don't forget to check out our HP Elite x3 FAQ too!
HP Elite x3 Desk Dock
The Elite x3 plus Desk Dock and Windows 10 Mobile means that you can use Continuum to an external display. That means you get to run Windows 10 Mobile as a mini-computer and take the phone with you when you're done. Although the Elite x3 cannot run "classic" desktop apps, it can run them virtualized through HP's onboard software and external cloud solution.
The HP Desk Dock is similar to Microsoft's Continuum display dock for the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL (and yes, that accessory works with the Elite x3 as well), but it steps it up a notch with a few notable features. For instance, the HP Desk Dock has a Kensington Security Slot (aka Kensington Lock) built in as well as an Ethernet port.
|Ports and Connectors||1 DisplayPort|
1 USB Type-C
1 AC power
|Dimensions (w x d x h)||4.25 x 3.74 x 1.2 in|
108 x 95 x 30.5 mm
|Power||45W (5.25V/3.0A) power adapter with 1.5m cord length|
|Security||Security lock slot|
The Desk Dock is also less mobile than Microsoft's solution, which is by design. This dock is meant to left on a desk with a monitor and keyboard as a permanent setup. Sure, you can move it at any time, but due to its weight, it is ideally a setup once type device. In fact, the Desk Dock feels as if it could be made out of stone it has so much heft to it - it weighs in at 450 grams or just under 1 US pound!
The Desk Dock has a lot of chrome on it, and it matches the Elite x3's exterior design. The dock drips with a high-end quality feel that makes it look elegant too. The Elite x3 is propped up by the Desk Dock so that you can use Continuum on the larger display but still operate the Elite x3 as a standalone smartphone including taking calls.
And, of course, the Desk Dock rapidly recharges the phone using the Qualcomm Quick 3.0 technology through its USB Type-C connector.
There's no price yet set for the HP Desk Dock, but it will be sold in conjunction with some Elite x3 packages.
HP Elite x3 Lap Dock (formerly Mobile Extender)
Of all the accessories for the Elite x3 the HP Elite x3 Lap Dock is certainly the coolest. The term 'mobile extender' is an accurate description when you realize how it works, but it is more easily thought of as a folio or light laptop.
The Lap Dock is a 12.5-inch 1080p (FHD) LED display with a keyboard, 47 WHr battery and some ports and speakers.
It has no processor. It has no RAM. It has no storage.
Instead, users will connect to the Mobile Extender using the Elite x3 and wireless Continuum (or wired if preferred). Since Windows 10 Mobile can scale-up to a full PC, the Mobile Extender becomes like an ultra-light laptop.
12.5-inch diagonal LED-backlit
FHD (1920 x 1080)
|Audio/Visual||Integrated Bang & Olufsen stereo speakers|
Integrated noise cancelling microphones
|Ports and Connectors||1 USB Type-C (data; HP Elite x3 docking/charging)|
2 USB Type-C (data; power in/out)
1 Micro HDMI
1 Stereo headphone jack
|Input||Backlit, spill-resistant keyboard with drain|
|Dimensions (w x d x h)||11.37 x 7.83 x 0.54 in|
289 x 199 x 13.8 mm
|Weight||Approximately 2.2 lb (1 kg)|
|Power||Battery: 4-cell (46.5 WHr) 45W|
USB Type-C power adapter
Combined with HP's virtualization server software (HP Workspace) and companies can run desktop legacy applications through the cloud to the Elite x3 completed the Continuum experience.
Overall, HP has done an excellent job with the Lap Dock, which nicely matches the exterior aesthetic of the Elite x3 for a winning and elegant combo. Throw in the Elite x3's powerful Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of fast RAM, Universal Windows Apps / HP Workspace, and the Mobile Extender could be one useful tool for those in the enterprise field who want a true all-in-one device.
What makes the Elite x3 such an enticing and exciting product are not just the phone's hardware but the complete accessory ecosystem that HP has built up around it. The Desk Dock and Lap Dock are the x2 in the Elite x3's arsenal and when you add in the pogo connectors on the back for custom 'sleeves' for the Elite x3 and this phone is a big entrance for HP and Microsoft into the mobile business world.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.