That's the top line verdict from my own little experiment heading on an international trip and seeing how far you can get with your phone and a few accessories.
When you're away from the office, Continuum gives you a surprisingly good experience. That experience will still depend on what it is you want to get done, but assuming you're not getting too heavy you should be able to get by pretty well.
While travelling, I had both good and bad experiences, all down to the fact I wanted to see if I could pack a USB-C hub and utilise the televisions in the hotel rooms I was staying in. In one, no problem; in the other, no way.
That's where the experience will always fall down if you ever plan to travel a lot and use continuum. A solution like Acer's Extend, the NexDock, or HP's suite of accessories for the Elite X3 will be the way to go.
At that point, though, you have to ask yourself where you benefit over just taking your laptop with you. If you have something small, like my Dell XPS 13, the question becomes tougher still because you're not travelling any lighter. That said, if you only use a desktop PC or some large, gaming notebook, it perhaps makes more sense.
What'd be the ideal outcome is if Continuum develops to such a level where you might not need to have a laptop at all. Packages like the Elite X3 are certainly geared towards this, but there's still work to be done on the software I think before that can become a reality. But I do think there could be a time where I could leave a full laptop at home.
So, what do I want to see next? The biggest thing I want right now from Continuum is being able to use more than one app on the screen at a time. I'm probably not alone there, either. Universal apps are fantastic, but there's never a situation where I just want to focus on one at once. An example: When I'm filling out expenses spreadsheets, I don't just want to see Excel. I need to see OneDrive where I record receipts, or my inbox. Just even being able to snap two apps would be a huge improvement. I'm sure it'll come eventually, and it'll make a big improvement.
I'd also like to see more hardware accessories, such as the 'dumb' laptop docks like NexDock. A Surface without the internal hardware, perhaps? Microsoft's partners getting involved and pumping out versions of their laptops without the computer hardware. It couldn't hurt to have more choices available.
But there's a lot of promise and I can particularly see how enterprise customers could go down this route. In my past life I carried a Lenovo ThinkPad and a phone and all I ever really used the laptop for was Excel, Word, looking at PDFs and using Outlook. A Continuum based solution for such a purpose would be much more cost effective.
If you've got your own Continuum experiences be sure to share them with us in the comments below!
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine