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Using Continuum for a week with the HP Elite x3

Continuum is probably one of the coolest Windows 10 Mobile features available, transforming your smartphone into a productivity powerhouse with a mouse and keyboard, full screen monitor and desktop-scaled apps. From this paragraph alone, Continuum sounds like the future, but right now it's not exactly perfect. Although the idea is strong, it isn't all there yet. 

I received an HP Elite x3 a little under 2 weeks ago now, and decided to try out Continuum on it. I went one step further however, and decided to use Continuum almost exclusively, choosing it over my desktop or Surface Book when wanting to get work done or browse Reddit and watch YouTube videos. I used it as my only PC, and this was my experience. 

Using the HP Elite x3 Desk Dock, I hooked up my monitor with a DisplayPort cable, and plugged my wireless Microsoft 900 Keyboard and Mouse dongle into one of the two USB ports. Activating Continuum is pretty simple, simply dock your phone in and your monitor will come to life with a welcome introduction to what Continuum actually is, helpful if you're a newcomer.  

From this point, I was entered into the somewhat familiar, yet completely different desktop environment. The Continuum for phones desktop environment is similar, but there's a few things missing that are vital to the Windows experience.

The Desktop Environment

For starters, the familiar taskbar is located at the bottom of the screen, where over 90% of people appear to like it. This taskbar isn't the same taskbar found on an actual desktop however, as it's missing a few key features. Firstly, Cortana's search bar is missing, although her icon is still present. The System Tray, found over on the right of the taskbar is also missing. Instead, the System Tray is at the top of the screen, where it resides on Windows 10 Mobile. It's here where the time, WiFi signal and battery icons live. 

The Notification Center icon is in the correct place — the far right of the taskbar — but even the Notification Center isn't identical to the one found on desktop. For one, there's no transparency, which is bit of a bummer but an understandable decision by the design and engineering teams (the Elite x3 is powerful, but it's still nowhere near desktop-class powerful). Not only that, but the quick action buttons are at the top of the Action Center instead of the bottom like on desktop. This positioning mimics the mobile Action Center instead, which isn't bad at all, just a notable change. 

On the HP Elite x3, the default desktop background was HP's new, sleek logo, a wallpaper I actually like and didn't need to change. You can change it if you wish however, much like you would expect to be able to do on a desktop. You can even change the colour of your taskbar, which is an additional bonus for those who love customizing their workspace. 

Moving onto the Start Button, which when pressed, brings you to a semi-familiar Start interface. Your phones Start Screen tile layout is present, and works much like you would expect, minus the added benefit of right-click menus that you would expect to find on a desktop. Not only that, but the Continuum Start Menu is missing the hamburger menu found on the Anniversary Update on desktop, as well as recently open apps. This isn't an issue, however, as the All Apps list is available by selecting "All Apps".

Productivity 

Regardless of all of this, being able to be productive is the most important thing that Continuum must achieve. Microsoft has done well at making the Continuum environment similar to the desktop environment, but it's missing one vital feature that Continuum desperately needs. Windowed-mode. 

Continuum as it currently stands has no support for running multiple windows on screen at one time, something you'd expect a Windows desktop to be able to do. The taskbar is able to display running apps as well as switch between them much like on a desktop, but running apps side by side in windows? Not a feature you can take advantage of with Continuum right now, and that's a real shame. 

As a writer, it is vital that I am able to see multiple windows at any given time, whether it be Twitter and a forum post, an article and a chat room, or something even more complex, most power-users and business-users will need to take advantage of windowed apps, and it's simply not there right now. This caused serious productivity problems for me, as it slowed down my workflow dramatically, manually switching between running apps via the taskbar instead of being able to glance at the app already running. 

It's not all bad, however. Ignoring the lack of windowed-mode, Continuum is very productive. No longer do I need to bring something like a laptop with me, as I'm 95% in on the UWP experience, meaning all my apps are available from the Windows Store and run in Continuum mode. I use Twitter, Word Mobile, Microsoft Edge, Facebook, Readit, Outlook Mail and many more Windows 10 apps.  

Microsoft Edge is possibly one of the star apps when Continuum is enabled, as it transforms into the full Edge experience you know and love on desktop. The only notable missing feature is Extensions, but that's not the end of the world and didn't affect me in any way. With Edge, I was able to fire up email, Windows Central and plenty more website in full-desktop mode.  

HP bundles a few of it's own apps too, one of which is the HP Workspace, which aims to virtualize Win32 programs via the Cloud and beam them straight to your phone running Continuum. This feature is only for businesses however, meaning I was not able to take advantage of it. I was however able to take advantage of the Remote Desktop app, which I was able to run full desktop apps with from my home PC. I didn't need to use it often, but when the occasion came, it was an option that was available for me to use.

What I think is the best thing about Windows 10 Mobile and Continuum is being able to do things like insert a USB and edit documents from it. With the built in File Explorer, I can open a word document, make some changes, and save it back directly on the USB for editing elsewhere, much like a PC. This is super convenient, especially if you're not using a cloud service like OneDrive.

New features with the Anniversary Update

Continuum with build 10586 is a good experience for what's offered, but with the Anniversary Update Microsoft has added a few new features that make using Continuum even better. The lock screen when in Continuum now shows up on your connected display and you can enter your unlock PIN with the keyboard, instead of being required to do it via your phone.

Not only that, but Microsoft has added support for more resolutions, up to 4K which is fantastic. Previously, Continuum would max out at 1080p on displays, which was pretty annoying. Now it can adjust to most native widescreen display resolutions. What this means is more content on screen at one time on higher resolution monitors, and a clearer picture overall.

Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn't added support for ultrawide monitors, which is disappointing. Perhaps that'll arrive in a future update. There's also now an option to adjust the DPI scaling on the extended display too, meaning you can interface elements bigger or smaller to give you more or less real-estate for content on the screen.

Elite x3 Performance

Since I was using Continuum with the HP Elite x3, I was curious to see how much better the Continuum experience performed compared to the Lumia 950. In short, it's not worlds different, but there is a slight improvement. More apps can stay in memory, so switching between them is faster, but opening apps and generally using Continuum doesn't feel much different.

I think a lot of that is to do with the Snapdragon 820 not being entirely optimized for Windows 10 Mobile just yet, we're still waiting for a firmware update that is expected to bring new features and fix a number of issues. We'll likely revisit performance then, but for now, Continuum is only a little bit better on the HP Elite x3 performance wise.

Conclusion

Continuum is still a fantastic and ambitious idea, and one that I think has potential in the smartphone market. Unfortunately, right now at least, it's too different from the desktop experience we already know and love, even though Microsoft has tried so hard to make it look the same. Until Microsoft can get windowed-mode working, you're stuck with a slow experience.

Don't get me wrong, being productive is very possible, but that also depends on what kind of productivity you're doing. If you're writing, or doing research or using Office/email, then Continuum is great for you. If however, you need to do video editing of image editing, Continuum (at least right now) is not for you as the apps and functionality simply aren't there.

In short, using Continuum on the HP Elite x3, for me, was a good experience. I was able to get through the week without needing to use my actual desktop machine, but that's because I don't really depend on any Win32 apps. If you do, this challenge would be more difficult. If you're all in on the UWP idea, this is far easier.

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

212 Comments
  • Sums it up perfectly. Sure, they did that demo way back of how you can use keyboard shortcuts, plug in a USB drive and all that, but without fundamental stuff like drag and drop, the familiar file explorer, and hell, WINDOWS, you couldn't possibly expect someone to pick up a Windows Phone, plug it into their TV and immediately use it like a PC.
    Great for enthusiasts like us of course who know our way around the phone, but pass it onto someone else, and it's Windows 8 all over again.
  • People plugging a phone to a TV shouldn't be expecting full fledged desktop experience.  It's a freaking phone.  Enthusiasts like us want it sure, but anyone else would probably be floored at what they are able to acheive with a phone in continuum as is.  The acceptance of Windows RT style effect would be much easier to swallow coming from a phone than from a 10" tablet.  And this time around we have UWP so it'll already be a much better experience.
     
  • Business people would expect that. They are selling this phone idea to businesses that say you only need a phone not a laptop and a phone. Its not made for us. Its made for business people.
  • Then why do we write so much about it here? Do many business people read this?
  • Another Business User here.  I've used it more often at home than on the road.  I took just my Lumia 950 with the foldable keyboard and Arc Touch Mouse, and Wireless Display Adapter.  It was a nightmare.  I had to go back to the display dock because the lag was so bad.   Lack of multiple windows is a challenge but not a deal breaker.  Lack of ability to run Web-Ex, a native Citrix Client in Full screen, and performance slower than my 10 year old laptop was too much to take. I trried the NexDock but its constant crashing of the keyboard & mouse and screen makes it hard to be a daily driver. Also for a presentation the USB-C to VGA adapter is only 640 * 480 resolution.  Older companies still have legacy projectors. I'll give it another try at home with the Anniversary Update but I would have a hard time recommeding it without more powerful hardware.  
  • I personally didn't give continuum a real try until rs1 insider builds hit a eureka point. I think it was only then I could get remote desktop uwp. Rdp huge for me. I won't say it's your problem but I think it's worth a try if you can. I didn't find it that slow on my 950XL. With uwp apps it was actually fairly pleasant
  • I'm in business! I'd just like to say though that until VERY recently, MAC users didn't have an EASY way to work side by side and yet, apparently, MAC OSX is the most productive OS in the world. I can honestly say that until the cost of monitors dropped, my whole office had one screen and very rarely were two apps open side-by-side with ALT-TAB being the preferred method of working on more than one app at a time. I don't really see any difference and although I am most deffinately a power user (Being a sysadmin and all) I work quite happily within continuum at home connected to the office perfomring all sorts of admin tasks via RDP or working on docs locally. Sure, windowed mode would be useful, but for now, this is NO deal breaker and an amazing achievment considering you are using a freaking phone!
  • An amazing achievement that Android completed 5 years ago. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It achieved also the record for the least secure and reliable os in the world, I'm not going to talk about data theft and lags, oh no... I did, sorry
  • I'm a business person.  It's pretty good, edge ran my clients google stuff way better than I ever expected.  Like it was quite usable, slower, however not to the point of being unproductive.  Mail app or online mail is good, my calendars are all sync'd up with multiples.  I can work on excel type issues logs, work on word documents.  A lot of my work involve VPN and rdp to desktops already.  You get two screens cause you can do things independently on your phone from the external screen. My issue from using it more is that I'm in my office a lot so my SP3 is here.  I haven't traveled enough lately to really give it a good real world run through and I'm feeling I won't miss too much.  Just can't open too many of my time wasting websites which should translate to more productivity anyhow :)
  • I agree, i have used Continuum with L950 now for a view days at the customer (having the surface 3 with me), it still works fine. My main tasks were taking notes from the meeting (Onenote) and give some presentations. In the evening in the hotel i prepared also next day's presentation with it via the Hotel's TV. Also worked quite good Only downside, like mentioned in the text, side-by-side was missing (e.g. onenote on the one, and our ticketing system on the other, would be very helpful. Espeically, since Task-Switching takes about one annoying second. However, next time I'm going by plane, i will rely on my Lumia and leave the usual electronics store at home. Amazing, since only 2 years ago i had a whole pile of equipment with me: Laptop for work, Tablet, private Lumia, work blackberry. And of cause a handfull of periperals and cables. And now? Lumia, Dock, keybord with trackpack, cable.
  • Business user here and I have had the x3 for about a week now.  I have a total of 9 offices at this time that I bounce in between and frequent business trips outside of those 9 locations.  I live & die by what I am able to accomplish in a mobile fashion.  I have a number of employees that work outside the office as well.  Yes this product needs optimized and firmware updates but is it can deliver on what it seems to be capable of, them it will be a game changer for the companies I own.  I am looking forward to getting the lapdock and doing a good field test of this device.
  • "People plugging a phone to a TV shouldn't be expecting full fledged desktop experience." Why not?  Are you implying that it can't ever be done? 
  • No Are you implying there's no tomorrow?
  • Re-read what you just wrote. You're completely contradicting yourself.
  • I would have, if I said 640kB ram is all anyone should ever need :) We're talking about today what's possible today.  We're all going to be walking around with connected hololens helmets in the future anyhow :)
  • ... important word that might be missing: "...yet..." Quote:
    People plugging a phone to a TV shouldn't be expecting full fledged desktop experience.  ... :-)
  • There are actually smartphones with 6Gb RAM, 128 GB ROM, 8 Core procesors! Not my laptops specs by any means, but you know there are millions of users with laptops that have those specs right? So 'People plugging a phone to a TV (monitor)' obviously 'Could be expecting full fledged desktop experience' Today!
  • I'm actually a little surprised that more features aren't active. So far, the phones that have supported continuum have been at least as powerful as the non-Pro Surface 3. I know the phone OS is still running, but I would still think Windowed mode and transparency could be handled by SD808/810/820. I guess there are a lot of pixels to push on both displays. 
  • Sd808/10/20 is equivalent to intel atom? Really?
  • Yeah, I guess that is debatable, though it's hard to make direct comparisons since there are no Windows tablets running Snapdragons and no Atom Windows Phones. Closest comparison I can see is that Surface 3 is close to an iPad Air in benchmarks. So maybe SD808 is out, but maybe 810 and 820 would be close. We aren't talking about running x86 stuff here either. 
  • Surface 3 CPU is a lot more powerful than a Snapdragon 808/810/820/830.
  • Are you sure about that? My Surface 3 feels slower than my £70 Android phone when web browsing. In fact, it feels slower than my phone in pretty much every way...(and the phone is using a relatively low end Mediatek CPU)
  • Maybe it's because the RAM, CPU and all that is pressured more heat and space -wise and therefore runs at a lower speed overall... But idk. :) I think it's a little strange too, shouldn't the phone be able to push more pixels, when running in a lower resolution -1440 x 2560 on the phone vs 1920 x 1080 on the computer/TV screen?
  • I have 8.9 inch tablet running full windows 10 smoothly with an atom processor and only 2 gigs ram. I am fully productive, can run proper MS Office smoothly and even Visual Studio. Why try to go back the Windows RT route. If 8.9 inch devices can run full windows, how difficult is it to put an x86 processor and full windows in a 6 inch device. Surely Microsoft doesn't learn.
  • Difficult than you can imagine. Windows with x86 processor in a mobile form factor doesn't work like that. How productive can you get with a 6" Windows PC?
  • If I plug the phone onto a monitor via HDMI what stops me from being fully productive like on an 8" tablet? If I am not plugged to a big screen then i dont need to run desktop x86 apps so then it should switch to normal mobile mode. No need for Continuum or some scaled down universal limited functionality apps.
  • Power consumption and heat dissipation is some major problem for the x86 CPU. Until Intel can develope something really efficient, they will not be able to build a phone with it.
  • This. Microsoft can build that version of Continuum. It should be a lot easier than the OneCore/UWP model. But there are no x86 processors for a phone.
  • Almost 3 inches is a lot of space in the world of small screen tech let alone the issue of power consumption. Microsoft can only do so much with the laws that govern our universe. We certainly are paying enough for them to defy physics
  • What they could do (if it fits in the smartphone) would be a phone with an atom and an arm with the atom processor active only when charging and in continuum mode.
  • I think the main problem for a x86 phone is the power consumption, since a phone has to be always active, there is no full sleep, and ARM architecture was built with scalable power usage, unlike intel architecture, which is all about backward comatibility all the way to the 16bit. It may have improved recently, but I doubt that the avarage 6" phone battery would sufice for a x86 phone to be useful as a phone. It can be done, but maybe would be a niche product.
  • But what about the Asus ZenFone 2, complete with a 2.3 GHZ quad-core Intel 64 bit processor with 4 gigs of dual-channel DDR3 inside a 5.5" phone?
  • it runs Android, I think there must be some customization in the system overall for it to be eficient, I really don't know. as I said, it's certainly feaseable, but there may have be some drawbacks of running a full desktop OS on a smartphone. maybe with a dual mode OS, that limits it's functions on battery.
  • Well there is actually a called Android x86 variant which is optimized for x86 architecture CPU. Deep inside, Android use Linux kernel which isn't an OS itself but its widely used in any kinds of computer devices we can think of, especially that its open-sourced thus people can optimize it further to the hardware if they want to. Now on W10M which is now also have NT Kernel since WP8, its been essentially similar to the Windows on PC, only the higher-level up to the UI is really different. MS already achieved "One Windows" since WIndows Phone 8 and RT (which is used to be internally called Windows On ARM). So full Windows on ARM is actually been done under the name of Windows RT, which is first run with old Tegra 3 SoC, which is not the best thing but it shows that it already works. Thing is I don't agree to have really full Windows 10 OS on a smartphone since as you said there is a drawbacks which I'm agree. Its really inefficient to have full PC OS on a device that is primarily a smartphone, Continuum is a big useful feature but its the primary one. You don't want to run a full Explorer Shell process when you are on a smartphone and other processes that is not needed wasting system resources. So I think sticking on more optimzed OS for mobile such as W10M is still a great solution, its specialized for these kind of devices while still have unified OS. Continuum is a good solution but like the article states, its not yet a PC-like experience. It lacks the windowed apps, a desktop-like experience is missing on W10M Contiuum. Windowed multitasking should be enough for Snapdragon 8XX especially when we think about it Windows RT which is essentially a full PC OS (with restrictions and removed uncessary components) recompiled for ARM, did even run on much older SoC. So MS can certainly make it if they really want to and put resources into that goal soon.
  • I believe that was reported to have horrendous battery life
  • The manufacturing of that processor series is stopped by Intel now IIRC.
  • also, windoiws 10 on tablets is **** compared to windows 8.1. 8.1 was a tablet first OS, 10 is definitely a desktop first OS. using both side by side makes me go for my phone over the tablet every time, because the whole experience is so much more consistent and just plain works better. too often the tablet experience breaks down on me. (scaling issues, windows only taking up half the screen and no way to fix it, strange padding added to the sides of windows, etc)
  • I dissagree, I absolutely love Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I don't think that drag and drop is the and of the world: there are universal apps like total commander born to fill the gap between pc and smartphone user experience!
  • I don't think that drag and drop is a great leak, there are UWP like "Total Manager​" that can supply the "drag and drop" function and a good file manager!!
  • Remember, it´s a device for business and people who works, not gamers and children. But when continuum is ready and in a full development, it will works more easy and for everyone. And I´m sure it´s therefore the new Surface line is delayed, they will make something absolutely different.
  • Still lot of work to be done right?
  • Yeah right... By The speed MS is going , it will take another 2 years to reach somewhere with this.. By then Android based PC OS will be in the rise and Apple will bring something stupid and market it in such a way that we and MS look like **** heads..
  • Your comment makes no sense
  • He mean that ms should develop continuum faster
  • Yes I get that.
    But senseless about Google and Apple.
    I mean Continuum is already there in the market. Google and Apple have to do lot(if that happens).
  • Android has already had phones with Continuum functionality and even a freeform desktop more is hidden in the newest version. Google doesn't have that much work to do. Keyboard, mouse and external display support is already built in. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • nope
  • Google is already working on it by Merging Android and Chrome OS.. Apple on the other side needs nothing but a screen mirroring of iOS to a bigger screen and fool the users that that's the best innovation of the decade and market it and we will buy it.. The recent days of MS doesn't give me any hope.. MS is having a bunch of new innovative stuffs and they don't know how to market it.. Building the best OS wont do the job itself.. People have to be convinced to buy their product.. MS wont do that.. They are not used to it..
  • Apple, eh forget it since they still stick with same philosophy about the mobile (though it works for them very well). Google actually is a real threat for W10M Continuum. Android is really flexible enough to have at least a desktop-like experience which OEM like Samsung even trying to do such that on their tablets. I won't be surprised if Google decided to copy the same idea of Contiuum but only further. Heck there is already an Android flavors such as Remix OS that is really is essentially a desktop OS but Android. It may not be on-par to Windows, OS X/macOS and most Linux distros, but it would hurt the W10M because of that. So MS really needs to act fast enough to make Continuum to be desktop-like, that's what I believe it should be and how W10M will survive in this market. Without it, Continuum will be just like plugging an Android tablet to a monitor with keyboard and mouse, because it really acts like it is. If Continuum wants to be a productivity powerhouse in our pockets, then it needs to be desktop-like.
  • hes saying misrocft are slow at all things.  2 years no gestures on mobile. 12 months till we even saw sktpe on mobiel and 2 years still not fully featured. Miocrosft does seem slow at doing some things with software.  thats what i think he means
  • You're right.  Microsoft has their fair share of good ideas.  But they are so much slower at implementing these ideas that it simply gives their competition time to read their intentions and react.  After all, Google and Apple aren't standing still either.   Pure strategic mistakes, and to an equal extend, the pace of implementating good ideas, leaves Microsoft continuing to fall further and further behind.  Hate to admit it but i feel like I've seen this movie before.  The slow death of a powerhouse eaten away and turned into a shell of their former self.  e.g. IBM of the 80's,  AT&T of the 90's,  etc.  Microsoft of the 2010's?   What will Microsoft still be in 2020?
  • Shell of its former self? Who do you think Microsoft is? Who do you think Microsoft was? A software company. They are the 2nd biggest cloud company in the world now. Behind aws. And I think office 365 is the biggest software suite now. They still own desktop. They are fighting for/doing really cool things in the living room. And they have hololens. I think the future is rip for the taking for Microsoft. Its the present they lost. But that only matters if you think people will be still using phones forever. What device will we have in 2020? What device will we have in 2030? I hope its not still a cell phone...
  • I didn't say they are now a shell of their former self.  I warn they may be that in 5 or 10 years.  They are sending obvious signals that they are ready to abandon the consumer market and admit defeat to Google and Apple.  Dropping the phone hardware is a big red flag since the pocket size device is critical to this vision of a universal platform where YOU are the center of everything and the devices are secondary as you move between them.   Now we hear they are probably abandoning the Band.  I wouldn't be surprised if we hear XBox being sold to Sony in the next 12 months.  Something fundamental seems to be changing.  Big, highlevel thinking behind boardroom doors.   I sense they are ready to retreat fully to the enterprise world.  They probably think they can compete better with the IBM's of the world than the Googles.  They're probably right.  Big business moves much slower.  It will be easier for them to be competitive rather than the consumer segment.  Problem with this is that Google will probably fully dominate the consumer market in 5 years.  Apple will be on the brink of failure again like they were in the early 90's.  But this time they won'lt have the briliance of Steve Jobs to bring them back.   WIth Google controlling all that terretory and all that cash, they can then follow MSFT into the Enterprise space.  By then Windows will probably be about gone and they will be a big player with Azure and enterprise software (Office365, etc.), but they will be vulnerable and in a defensive position again.  All this is pure speculation.  I do not have a crystal ball and I am  not arrogant enough to say I am even confident in what i laid out here.  But it is a plausable scenario.  We've seen greater companies than MSFT experience the slow spiral of death.      
  • You are talking as if Microsoft cannot dwelve into the Android platform, branch it off and take over the lead. Unlike other manufactures, Microsoft has all the ecosystem, budget and expertise in doing so. Microsoft has also shown they can have the Android sub system working inside the Windows. There is a reason Google tried so hard playing evil.     
  • Yes, this is my main criticism as well. When continuum was first revealed to the public, I thought that it's a brilliant idea and that MS is going to go crazy with it. I thought that MS would keep adding features and capability to it really fast, as in iterate, iterate, iterate. It's been a year, still no windowed apps/multitasking, no ARM64 support, continuum edge is still not on par with desktop. Microsoft so sloooooooooow. I expected all of this would be ready within the year.
  • Did you think it was brilliant when Motorola did it 5 years ago? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • nope. It was too soon.
  • @bleached  Because they didn't. Go lookup what Continuum really is. Looking at other comments, please inform yourself. You've been making yourself look stupid quit a few times already.
  • He is very good at it, isn't he?
  • Me too! Even though the idea isn't entirely new, but I believe that at least Microsoft can manage push it even further. Unfortunately that technical demo was just it, a phone connected to the external monitor project apps on always maximized mode with basic Taskbar and essential features that we all taken-for-granted on our desktop PC isn't present on current Contiuum, even a year after. The hype about Continuum didn't last long except for us following MS news and users here. For others, it was considered to be another gimmick nor a feature that is half-baked with several performance and technical issues. If they released a Continuum that actually mimicks the desktop for at least 90%, with features like full drag-and-drop, better File Explorer (it doesn't have to be port from Win32, it just have to all necessary features that even basic modern file managers have), multiple-instances of some apps, full Windows Snap, full Taskbar features such as Previews and Groupings, networking support especially for File Explorer, dynamic resolution support so it supports any aspect ratios (not fixed like now), and at least more consistent UI from Windows 10 PC such as moving that status bar from the top to the Taskbar.
  • IMO, I think you don't know much about Chrome OS. Android can only settle with the mobile form factor, with its vulnerable ecosystem it won't last long and Chrome on the other hand didn't get the basics right for a desktop OS. I don't know what Google can bring out just by merging two different poles without a shared code. By far, msft is heading in the right direction with Continuum. BTW, Apple did it better than Google can ever get. And how far are ppl willing to submit to the company that sells user data for profit.
  • Seems like Microsoft has no issue collecting your data. What do you think they are doing with it? https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/windows-10-microsoft-blatantly-dis... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So, you're on an Android device...no need to defend yourself that you bought the device and all the things that come with it ;)
  • I don't agree with their hypocrisy when stating, "The tactics Microsoft employed to get users of earlier versions of Windows to upgrade to Windows 10 went from annoying to downright malicious."  Malicious means with intent to do harm, and I think that wording is practically libel (and more fitting of the term "malicious" than they accuse MS of)... if they want their opinion respected, they should be more careful with their wording, especially considering their motto of "defending your rights in the digital world". 
  • Not selling it to ad companies because, you know, they actually make a profit from real software
  • LOL android based pc
  • So is the only difference between a normal phone and a business phone (this phone) continuum?
  • no, continuum support is based on the processor. Lumia 950/950xl are not business oriented phones and they do support continuum. It needs to be powerful enough to run both a separate larger screen, the phone screen, and have be able to multi-task in the sense I could be on the phone talking to someone while I'm editing a word doc on the larger screen.
  • No, Continuum is available for other Windows phones that are not marketed to business such as the Lumia 950/950 XL and other phones. Continuum is a feature currently reserved for upper midrange and high-end Windows 10 Mobile phones, regardless of the marketing of a device.
  • Ok understand, so then what makes this phone a business/enterprise  phone?
  • Cuz they say so and market it as so. That's the only difference I can see.
  • Either you are a new user or you are just saying things. I mean com'on there are many articles on HP Elite X3
  • Fingerprint security
  • Hp workspace for the most and some other optimized apps, but in the end you can use it quite exactly like a normal phone too.
  • HP and Microsoft marketing, service and support contacts and apps backed by a business focused sales, deployment and support channel. The device itself is just another device that is for sale the same way a Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book may be marketed to Professionals/Businesses but can be purchased and used by any consumer as you see fit. A person can buy and HP Elite X3 and use it just like you would a Lumia 950/XL with the added benefits or a more powerful CPU/GPU, more RAM, addition of a fingerprint scanner, more storage, higher resolution front facing camera, water and dust resistance and an arguably more useful display dock than the Microsoft Display Dock. Microsoft's dock lacks an Ethernet port. The user determines what they use the phone for, the OEM determines how they market the phone. I want the most powerful Windows 10 Mobile device and currently, the HP Elite X3 is the one to buy.
  • By the way - you can use the Microsoft Surface USB adapter on the Microsoft Display dock, it works with zero configuration. The only downside (and I assume this of the Elite) is Windows 10 Mobile lacks the ability to give you Ethernet information - so while you can use a wired connection, you have no visual means to know you're wired nor see things like your IP. It's completely missing from the UI.
  • Nice. I use a USB 3 Ethernet adapter made by Insignia that I purchased from Best Buy. It works well. That normally means all 3 ports on my Microsoft Display Dock are taken up, 1 Keyboard, 2 Mouse, 3 Ethernet. If I want to get really fancy, I plug in a tiny USB Hub and then I have Ethernet, keyboard, mouse, flash drive and Xbox 360 controller to play games via Continuum! I keep a dock at home and a dock at work that is connected to a second monitor. That way, I can have corporate Windows 7, which allows no fun and Windows 10 Universal Apps on the second screen, a win win.
  • Price, camera, build quality and availability of apps.
  • I jumped from my chair from when I read about higher resolution support! Only to fall back when I read no support for widescreen, 21:9, resolution.... I really hoped to start working in the office from just my phone and rdp... But I guess I have to wait a bit longer. Hopefully coming soon..... And not the MS 'coming soon'....
  • Yeah these things need a lot of work to be done :)
  • You spent the whole article excusing all the flaws of continuum. 
  • Well, this article is about how I coped with Continuum. Not about how you think Continuum is. I can excuse whatever I like.
  • Can you excuse me? ;)
  • You are right and WP boys over here doesn't behave well when it comes to truth.. Now they will down vote me as well..
  • What's with the bragging about down votes? Does it make you king of the playground or something?
  • He's the Kindergarten headmaster :) 
  • In resume: if you were fine with Windows RT, you'll be fine using Continuum. If you're in the majority of the people who abhored Windows RT for its limitations, Continuum is just a blast from the past, this time powered by your phone.   I still think the same: Continuum has no chance until Microsoft manages to put Windows 10 (real Windows 10, not W10M) running on a phone. When they manage that, then Continuum will be actually compelling as it'll actually give you full Windows 10 (windows included) on your pocket. Until that happens, fat chance.
  • Could they include an Intel chipset into Dislpay Dock and when we connect the phone, full Windows 10 appear on the screen? Or is this difficult to be implemented?? I don't know!
  • It sort of defeats the purpose. The dock becomes a mini-PC
  • I wouldn't mind a better graphics adaptor in the dock though, running a bigger screen as well as the phone screen might require more graphic power than available in a phone.
  • My thought too. I didn't purchased a Surface with Windows RT since I'm a developer and all my software required to do my job requires a Windows PC with full Windows.   
  • Did you not see continuum with virtualization via azure running win32 apps like visual studio without a hitch? As a dev I rather have a central pc for the heavy work for all the things to plug into. As I dev I am almost never without data service except when camping and I don't work when I camp.
  • If you're going to be RDPing to a deskop PC (even a virtualized one), then Continuum really isn't offering you anything that you can't do on Android (maybe even iOS - I dunno as I don't use it). Hook an Android phone up to a Miracast display, attach a keyboard/mouse via USB OTG or BT and fire up one of the many remote desktop apps and code away.
  • It's all I'm waiting for them to release, a Windows 10 phone running on Intel chip and able to run regular Win32 apps when docked (just put them to sleep when undocked and resume once docked again). Come on Microsoft, do the right thing for once instead of crippling stuff over and over again!
  • Intel has already declared that are retrenching from mobile chip dev, which means you ll not have optimized chips for mobile and if you use atom you'll have a battery drain issue
  • A lot of people like RT. Your beloved Nokia made an RT tablet.
  • They also made Windows Phones. Mistakes were made.
  • Those windows phones were the best phones in the market and some of them are still now. I can see how not everybody can understand things
  • Having owned and used both RT tablets and Lumia 950 with continuum dock I think this comparison is not entirely fair. Yes, they are both ARM based, they both sport a Windows desktop, but the Windows 10 solution is the next generation and beyond. Microsoft would easily put an x86 version of win mobile on an x86 chipped mobile. But to be fair, this hardware does not yet exist. What will become of the Surface Phone remains to be seen, but intel discontinued the processor line believed to be relevant for the SFP. Could the Atom be used, sure, intel and Mas may bee cooking som HW and SW stue that will hit the market like a bomb. Reversing back from the future, today ARM is all we got. There are however an increasing number of applications for the Win 10 platform supporting Continuum. And you can run x86 apps from azzure, or just use citrix trough the Receiver for HTML 5 2.0 option and launch x86 applications that way. For many businesses this is a solution already being used on the PCs running x86 HW as well. Another side note is MS bridges. One could ask, is x86 with all its benefits, and issues, are the best solution for phones. With a increasing number of devices being continuum enabled being announced, some x86 software developers might find this platform interesting enough to make their applications take a walk over the bridge converting them into universal apps. Why do they need to be x86 apps?
  • Windows RT flopped because it didn't have apps. Things are slowly getting better with UWP.
  • I believe in my opinion, it doesn't need to have a full Windows 10, but the Continuum just needs to virtually perfectly mimick the desktop Windows 10 such as full windowed apps, full drag-and-drop, full Taskbar features (that actually looks like from Taskbar from the PC, multiple instances of apps, networking, etc. I can see the benefit of full Windows 10 with W10M UX, where it runs kinda like a dual/hybrid mode where on smartphone it only runs the mobile UX without the processes of a desktop while on Continuum mode would literally make the session a PC. Thing is the benefit of this is largely of having a Win32 apps which is a hardware limitation if we don't have a mobile-optimized x86 CPU to natively run those. Not to mention, all the bloat that comes with the desktop which is uncessary for mobile would be another heaps of class of problem in the future to deal with. While we can wait for those, W10M Continuum needs to at least able to mimic desktop and not this current Continuum that is even a lite version of Windows RT (which at least have a Snap and runs full desktop recompiled for ARM). W10M Continuum is essentially like running a normal Android tablet on a monitor (without those OEM customized windowed-apps or something else), its not yet a PC-like experience that it needed to be. People would argue that there is RDP and other virtualization solutions, and people doesn't need those "desktop stuff" because they're fine with basic experience. Thing is, RDP and virtualization solutions like from those HP is non-native experience, you have to be connected to high-speed network to just have a desktop experience (though at least its an actual desktop experience, only remotely). Also if we let Continuum to be like this currently, it would stay niche and that's not a win-win solution. Personally I do like to really have a full Windows 10 on a pocket that have W10M UX, but I can at least give it a slack and understanding that having it to optimized and lean the fat would be a huge challenge and takes time. Windows is known for its backwards compatibility and it would retain that way, but that also the reason of some bloatness to the OS that would not be ideal for a device that is primarily-powered by a battery that needs to last more than a day.
  • @DJCBS  Windows RT has multi Windows. In resume: another uninformed post. Another post in which you make a troll post. Good on you!
  • majority of people is highly uneducated, they expected full windows from RT, and like uneducated people, they had to learn it the hard way.
  • For companies that will utilize the HP Workspace, or other Virtual Desktop Interfaces (VDI), this is a really great device.  In the VDI, you would be able to have Windowed applications and have multiple applications on screen at the same time.  Hopefully they will be adding some of the missing desktop features natively so that users don't need a VDI to display two applications side-by-side, etc. 
  • That seems like a clunky solution in search of a problem. It'd be much simpler to just deploy a laptop.
  • What you do is the same argumentation that is put up against all combining technologies. The same arguments we heard against for instance combo-printer, scanner and fax devices. Yes a real printer dedicated only to printing will print a little better. And yes a scanner only dedicated to scan stuff can scan a little better and a fax may be good too. But you need 3 devices to cover that up. That is very likely more expensive, takes more space and will lag the power of the combination of all if them. And today we see many combo devices in households and very little solo-printers.
    And what you critics always forget: You are not forced to use Continuum. For some usecases it is great to have all the data with you all the time without having to have good network connections or because you just cant or dont want to use cloud storage (security reasons, no good connections or expensive, synchronisation issues in general, etc.) and for some it does not help and you are better of using a dedicated pc, laptop or solo-scanner. I will not hate u for that and will not say anything against that.
    Why do you always have to say something against my solution for a different use case where it works nicely? I dont force my solution on u, why do you try to force yours on me? Or lets go further. Why do you use a smartphone at all? A laptop is better at computing. A dslr does better photo. A cellphone can hold you connected for weeks without charging...
  • "What you do is the same argumentation that is put up against all combining technologies. The same arguments we heard against for instance combo-printer, scanner and fax devices. Yes a real printer dedicated only to printing will print a little better. And yes a scanner only dedicated to scan stuff can scan a little better and a fax may be good too. But you need 3 devices to cover that up. That is very likely more expensive, takes more space and will lag the power of the combination of all if them. And today we see many combo devices in households and very little solo-printers." What? I work in an office, and we have a mix of combo devices, dedicated printers, and dedicated dedicated scanners. The combos print and scan just as well as the dedicated devices. Meanwhile (as the article points out), a phone running Continuum is knowhere near ready to being a PC replacement. And what you critics always forget: You are not forced to use Continuum. For some usecases it is great to have all the data with you all the time without having to have good network connections or because you just cant or dont want to use cloud storage (security reasons, no good connections or expensive, synchronisation issues in general, etc.) and for some it does not help and you are better of using a dedicated pc, laptop or solo-scanner. I will not hate u for that and will not say anything against that. For starters, it's never a good idea to point out "you're not forced to use something." Continuum should be compelling enough to use, especially since it's the only unique feature Windows 10 Mobile has. It isn't compelling to use due to both software and how many accessories you need to carry around. Second, no sane company or user would trust all of their data residing on one device. What happens when the battery dies, or the phone is stolen? All that data is inacessible or gone.
      You're free to use this if you want, but that doesn't make it any less of a bad idea. All continuum does is replicate functionality that others devices do better. A printer/scanner combo prints and scans just as well as dedicated printer or dedicated scanner, but a Continuum desktop environment isn't nearly as fully featured as an actual desktop or laptop is, and you have to worry about carrying around your dock, keyboard and mouse, and then find a monitor. It's also troubling as a technology enthusiast to watch Microsoft spend resources to try to replicate something that is already complete, when there are other areas of Windows 10 that need addressing.
  • That's already available on iPad and Chromebooks is called Windows Virtualization, but it requires you to have a Windows PC running all the time which consumes electricity whenever you want to use your PC.  It would be much better if your phone could ran full desktop OS with a module that has Intel Chip on it so that you could carry your module with you just as an Intel Compute Stick which is very small but has full desktop OS.
  • Why would you need the phone then? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Get syncphone, holofone. 
  • Nope.Can you make a call at the same time? Nope. Businesses run RDP/VDI, so they're covered already. Just a phone needed. Not another tablet or cripled laptop thing.
  • But you can run a virtual desktop on other phones, and it doesn't make your phone the only computer you need.
  • Another one that does not get it. Go look up what Continuum is. And what businesses run. Really. Please do. To many troll posts already.
  • $700+ device and then millions a year to HP for VDI, solid buisness plan there...
  • It would be great to do a comparisson of a device like Intel Compute Stick vs Continuum and I think Intel Compute Stick wins by a large margin since you can run full desktop OS.  Not sure if Microsoft could build a modular phone like the Ara project but for Windows so that you could add a thin square to your phone that contains a Intel Chip so that it runs full Windows 10 when you add this module. I would be part of that revolution and even would pay $1000 for that  (Phone + Intel module) + keyboard + mouse + monitor
  • Exactly this!
  • Only thing with a compute stick you can't call and use it as a normal phone. You always need a screen/monitor...
  • might need a car battery module - Intel is not as battery efficient as Arm
  • In other words, use a laptop with full Windows 10.
  • and buy a Note 7 to heat up your room
  • The Note 7 won't heat up your room. It will reduce it to ashes. To heat up a room (or cook steaks and boil water) we recommend the use of a Snapdragon 810 powered device.
  • Nope. I will not answer more. Go look it up yourself.
  • Does ALT-Tab work for switching between Windows?
  • yes it does :)
  • Yes, many keyboard shortcuts work exactly as in W10.
  • yes it does. I just tried it
  • Yes, and for me, that's much more important than tiled windows. I've been a power user for 20 years, and I rarely, if ever, work with two windows fully visible at the same time.  
  • Ditto, I'm an alt-tabber.
  • I wish to see a hand on video of this.   The official video for HP dock does not show how it works but simply plug it.  It seems lot easier thank micrsoft dock.
  • I would say Continuum is 80% there, not 95%.    The two things missing: 1.  As author mentioned, more Desktop Experience (maybe full Windows 10 when in Continuum mode?) 2.  Multiple monitor support.         
  • never will happen because the CPU limitations of the phone. They can create a power beast but than you will need a charger because the phone will be dead after 3h.
  • Yeah, current SOC wouldnt accomplish this Windows 10 desktop experience.  I was thinking around the corner with a power sipping Core M with an additional radio chip. Such a setup can emulate ARM when not in Continuum mode.
  • Some good continuum changes from november update to anniversary update. Windows 10 mobile on anniversary update provides better background tasks for both audios and videos, in default apps as well as on edge. And from what I can tell a better background task experience overall where it doesn't freeze tasks. And the best part? It works great which you wouldn't really expect on measly lumia 730. So I'd assume the groundwork is there for continuum to become true multitasking champion which is where desktop environment has edge over mobiles until now. Fingers crossed.
    On a side note, I don't think Microsoft ever mentioned any of the feature changes to continuum during redstone insider releases which is sad since continuum for phones is the hallmark of windows 10 on phones. Let's hope this will change with forthcoming releases and Microsoft will address any feature updates that they ship for continuum for phones on their blog posts to highlight this feature as it rightfully deserves.
  • I agree.  Microsoft has always been really bad at marketing no matter how much money they spent doing it. They need a better advertising plan.  One that 'demonstrates what their devices can actually do' rather than one that tries to take shots at the competition, just because the competition does it to them.   As for Continuum,  I don't think it was ever promoted by MS as a feature that would allow you to run standard desktop programs but UWP apps.  In it's current state Continuum is 'working as intended'.  It is rediculous to think that a mobile device processor would be able to run Win32 apps.  What Motorola, Google or Apple device does?  I'm sure MS is getting this feature ready to run win32 apps once a mobile processor exists commercially that will allow this to happen without needing an SGCC Array to run it.  This is one reason why MS always has an uphill battle.  Even those who support the platform are 'double-minded'.  We're all routing for Microsoft but our attitude toward them is piss poor!  MS seems to always be held to a higher standard than Apple & Google and anyone else in the industry for that matter.  Yes, they have had their share of boondoggles and screw-ups but given the magnitude of diverse applications in which Windows is used and the amount of 3rd party vendors they depend upon, we have to give them some flopping room.  I don't know of anyone else who is doing what they do to the extent that they do it. Certainly non of us are.  We harshly criticize them even when they are doing revelutionay things.  They get beat down even before they get going with what they're attempting to accomplish.  People have to 'get a grip'.  As for this article at least it has a good tone to it and is free from a 'bitter under-tone' like just about all of the rest. Good job!  Thanks for sharing your experience without taking underminding poc-shots throughout.  I really appreciate that fact that MS hasn't given up on the Win 10 Mobile devices.  The fact that Continuum actually works...  Hello...  That's awesome!  They can make it better as they move forward but at least it actually works and works well!  And for companies that create their own UWP apps to meet their needs this will work great right now.  As for win32 exe's the processor is the weakest link in the device but once 'technology' catches up MS will be ready to step in and 'play with the big boys'.  Hopefully this is a new era for MS as legacy Windows has always been a 'boat anchor' to MS and it's not until Win 10 that we see them breaking free enough to compete in a 'Mobile World'!  The X3 is a great step forward from Lumia and others in the right direction and it works!  No it doesn't do video editing in win32 mode but what phone does?  Someone write a UWP that does great video editing!  Any takers?So, before people get overly critical let's just be glad that the system didn't crash, catch fire, & burn to a crisp taking small children with it.  It's time for us all to take a different approach to our commenting and have a more grateful tone.  If we have a more positive perspective in our comments we will see more positive results all around.  If I were MS I wouldn't say much of anything publically either.  Now let's see how HP handles the critical 'support from unsupporters' and the lack thereof.   The X3 is the most powerful Win Mobile Device to hit the market and it does more than everything else available in the ecosystem.  So, I'd say this device is definitely a great device and is very promising in terms of what the future of Win10 Mobile can be.  I'm so glad I gave Win 8 a try and have now completely switched over to Win10!  Go HP!  Go Microsoft! Go UWP Developers!  Thanks all for hanging in there to keep those of us who did not give up on the best platform available hopeful!   
  • Take The apple Marketing
  • Great review as usual Zac. I had the elite for a week but had to leave it back. I didn't unbox the continuum support package at all because within 10 minutes of playing with the phone I became aware of an issue with the metal foil on the lower bezel which was starting to peel which started alarm bells. Top and bottom are made of the same material, not metal but a very thin foil. I kept my 1520, 950xl and the hp side by side trying to convince myself that the hp has to be the best if the 3, but try as I did I just couldn't justify the huge outlay for it given that build quality looked slightly suspect, i emphasise the word 'slightly' as all too often here it can be misconstrued. Yes,a terrific piece of kit in many respects, it needs to succeed big time, and on returning it I spoke at length to a very friendly employee at hp UK who was very helpful and sent me an email as to how to return it for refund, or another handset. She was unaware of any revamps of the build at this point but keen to take feedback. Dare I say I'm not the first to question the same problem, so hopefully this will be looked at.
    At the heals of the hunt I just couldn't hold on to it and felt the best move is wait and see how these terrific handsets evolve. Performance between all 3 was a close call to be honest, I didn't see a great deal of difference in them all, so for now it's back to the trusty 1520 which simply just.......shines!
  • I'm using continuum on my Lumia 950 now demoing this now. It's actually pretty cool.
  • There has been little work done on improving continuum since its launch and its still only in it's infancy. There is definitely hugh potential but with the direction of mobile somewhat up in the air anything could happen.
  • Why is there still no Wireless Display app on Xbox One (general release) that I can connect my Lumia 950 up to?
  • its been on my Xbox One for a long time.... like nearly a year.
  • Presuambly because you are in the Insider program?  And another part of my frustration. Either that or they've renamed the app from "Wireless Display." I check for it after every update.  
  • I think a key to this experience is remote desktop.   If you have your PC sitting idle at home or the office,the remote desktop can do everything for you that the HP virtualization service does, but for free.    I mostly use UWP apps, but can see scenarios where I'd want to use multiple windows, full office or Adobe apps.  I tested remote desktop on my surface from my cowork office to my home PC and the experience was snappy. It even played videos.  Don't have a continuum phone to test. I do have a couple questions regarding continuum on W10M:
    ​1. If I choose to 'download' folders in W10 mobile OneDrive, do they sync?
    ​2. Does 950/950XL support 4K monitors now, or just the HP Elite x3?      
  • If you need to remote desktop to have a full desktop experience it kind of defeats the purpose of continuum.  Continuum should allow me to have one and only one device doing everything, the RDP requires another PC somewhere waiting for you to connect.
  • And you get two desktops.  The remote desktop and your local desktop.  That's never going to work for consumers. Maybe it could work for businesses doing application virtualization, but I'm not convinced they would bother with the extra hassle, training, equipment, blowback, etc. over what they're doing today.
  • Or a VM in the cloud, which works quite well. 
  • Yes and no.  For many people (several in my company), their laptop is nothing more than an RDP terminal.  Those folks would gladly carry a phone instead of a laptop.
  • Bingo. Great to see a well informed post. That's how I've been using L950+Continuum for quit some time now. 
  • Zac, did you use it with continuum over wifi or ethernet? If you used both, how much faster was it connected via ethernet? Thanks
  • For me it's good enought!!
  • I'll start off saying I love Continuum on the phone. It's not perfect, there are some additional areas not covered by this article I thought I'd point out - in terms of improvements Continuum needs:
    (1) There is no universal "screen turns off after X minutes when using Continuum" setting - from a few mintues to "never". This is a bummer because Continuum follows the phone's screen lock setting and turns off after a few minutes of no user interaction, even if you're just watching youtube in Edge. To be specific "lock the phone" and "turn off monitor in continuum" settings should be exclusive of each other - meaning the phone could lock after a few minutes (maybe even by a MDM policy), but the display remains on until that timer value expires.
    (2) So what happens when the screen locks and turns off, you ask? Continuum dies. All your apps running in Continuum die with it. You cannot resume where you left off. You must re-launch Continuum and then re-open your apps. #veryannoying
    (3) While Continuum may respect the screen zoom setting, this isn't true of the Remote Desktop app. If you're set to 150%, but RDP into your work PC, it will be at 100%. To be fair, this isn't purely a Continuum issue, it happens on the phone's screen with the Remote Desktop App. Anyone who has used RDP on a Lumia 950 knows how incredibly small the remote session is; it's impossible to read anything under 72 pitch font. ..I've submitted feedback to MS about all of those issues via the Feedback Hub, and I would suggest people upvote or sumbit their own experiences in the app to help make it better.
  • I'm using continuum, and when my screen locks it doesn't kill my apps.  Everything is right where I left off.
  • Use an app called "Blackout". It blanks out the phone screen while also keeping it on.
  • MS Loves ios and android..anyone heard about exclusive apps for those platform from MS..anyone heard new updated outlook features..so great apps from all developers inclusing MS makes ios/android only two OS in mobile world..continuum is a gimick which out of 100 only 1 might use...windows mobile is dead thanks to satya..zombies love windows mobile...humans must shift to android or ios....i'm currently using L950xl i will make sure this is mine last windows device...next will be iphone 8 
  • Continuum is a Gimmick?? Really?? It is the next step for Mobile Computing. What trail blazing feature, that is comparable in productivity, has iOS brought to the party?? Why is it MS have to provide office to them?? Talking of gimmicks, $170 ear buds because there isn't a jack?? Other examples of gimmicks, curved screens. Are they included for productivity?? Again, MS supply office apps for productivity to Android. If you feel iOS is productive then we'll see you soon. Actually, what is the iBone 8 bringing? Anything figures yet?? And yes, we are zombies, and someone appears to have erm, I think feasted is the wrong word, on your brain already. We are Zombies because we don't follow brains, we eat them! And dont forget, The Walking Dead didn't get the OK until it had a decent 'pilot' to ensure the future series. Unfortunately, sheep and lemmings, don't have much to feed on ;-) A fool and his money are soon parted.
  • I will also switch to iOS. F*** you MS, you ruined a good intention of mine to be a loyal full user/consumer. I want a real, complete, not half-baked OS in a Smartphone. It's rumored that Apple will create something like Live tiles. If that happens, I will Kiss MS goddbye forever.
  • Well, start to save for dat 2000€ meTelephone then! I agree lagdroid is not an options but DAMN those prices
  • So far, I quite like Continuum really... Used it a couple of times and it's a good start. Indeed, we aren't there yet but it will come. Windowed-mode is one of the most upvoted items in the feedback hub so it'll eventually come and make Continuum even more awesome. Can't wait to set it even more when my Nexdock arrivés!
  • "We aren't there yet but it will come." That's what I hate from MS. Other companies deliver complete products to satisfy the consumer's needs. Not to keep them waiting for improvements that come in drops. If they ever do...
  • Complete products? Check out the complaints on twitter on hashtag #ios10.
  • you are not living on this planet
  • Can you expand more on "HP Workspace" and when you say for Businesses, does that mean it requires some paid service to HP, or do you need to run some BBS type server(s) on your network that the phone(s) connect to?
    If you already covered this, my bad.
  • HP Workspace is a paid business service that businesses would deploy at their own servers (usually, some may be hosted or controlled by outside companies). Those businesses log into HP Workspace and have access to a virtualized desktop and all their apps. It's similar to Cisco's offerings if you know anything about that. If not, think of it like playstation home for Windows itself. Windows runs on a server somewhere and you log into it. For companies, it is an expensive setup for companies so normally it's for larger businesses but does have a lot of built in security and allows access to programs and networked drives that wouldn't normally be allowed access to on your own personal computer.
    ​There are not really any services like this available to consumers as far as I'm aware but you can emulate it by setting up a Windows Pro desktop at home with remote desktop or teamviewer.  
  • As I have said, many times, I didn't see much difference between my 950xl and the HP x3 when I got to tinker with it. As a primarily continuum user, the difference wasn't worth huge sum of money. Thanks Zac, my rantings are justified. At double the cost of a 950xl, I, unfortunately, couldn't justify the perceived performance for a a large sum of money. I'll wait until the honeymoon period is over, or MS have something 'surface', when x3 prices should drop. Great device, too expensive at the mo.
  • I have a 950 and its amazing when you Connect it to a surface hub wirelessly. Picture is fast and you can use touch and pen. Awesome feeling.
  • so you can use surface hub as a wireless Miracast screen, I guess?
    ​I mean most of people not even saw a surface hub yet.
  • Waiting for a complete review of this phone !! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • When have used continuum via miracast on my 950XL have always wondered why the minimize close apps button isn't in the right side of the top menu title and have to in many cases. Just leave the apps opened instead of have the same layout than in computer for close an application also lacks an safely remove external disks like in Windows PC when use an OTG adapter I damaged two usb hard disks drives in my phone because I thought could read them but done could not do that unplugged the disks and Tada Windows pc shown as raw format solution get linux get an be hard disk drive and get my files back
  • The only problem I had so far was that I was unable to type @ on a German mobile keyboard by Microsoft and had to copy and paste it every time via on-screen keyboard on my phone.
  • Since Intel's mobile CPUs are dead, what are the chances Microsoft is porting full Windows to ARM?  They would clearly need faster CPUs for this to work reasonaby well, but maybe that's the Qualcomm 900 series CPUs?  What would be the point of releasing a Surface phone that's basically this HP device without any additional capabiities? For the Surface phone to make any sense at all, they either need a mobile-compatible x86 CPU, which seems impossible, unless AMD has a major surprise up their sleeve, or they need to port Windows to ARM.  My prediction is that the ARM port isn't happening, the Surface phone never sees the light of day, and Windows Mobile enters "support mode," meaning that it's effectively dead, no later than Q1 2017.  All of that sucks, because I like Windows Mobile MUCH better than Android, and iOS, with no widgets and no back button, is a task-swapping nightmare.
  • Would love to see the buisness that forked over all the $$$$ to HP for the handsets plus VDI workspace and than took away their employee's PC/Laptop. Show me that person 6 months in and let's see how trailblazing it all seems.
  • I suspect most of these will be given to field workers and that it will be trailblazing for them.
  • You know how many business have Thin/ZeoClients to connect to RDP/VDI? That's the same thing. Now they just need a phone. Sure, many still need laptops and PC's, but in a lot of use cases a Continuum setup is all they need. All the company needs to buy. All they need to manage.  
  • This is a good article, but I'm not sure I agree with it. I'm a power user, I'm actually a C# developer developing WPF, MVC Web Apps and SharePoint solutions. I'm also a MS SQL Server Developer and today had set up a presentation to a couple of people in my organisation to show them how we could use SharePoint 365. Five minutes into my presentation my Laptop died a death and I was stumped. I then remembered that I had brought my Continuum Dock into work with me along with the Lumia 950 I'd bought only last week. After hooking everything up, I managed to show how SharePoint 365 worked, whilst retrieving Word Documents, doing a bit of editing on them and creating a couple of sites and lists in SharePoint, all from my Lumia. At no point, and I think this bit is crucial as I've seen a few people mention it and it worried me, at no point did I experience any slow down even though at one point I had Edge iwth 8 tabs open. At one point, due to having to switch from my work SharePoint profile to my personal SharePoint profile (well Office 365 really) and not wanting to have to go to the pain of having to log out and back in again, I fired up a Remote Desktop Connection via Continuum to a Windows 10 Remote Desktop that I've got hosted in Ireland on Azure (I was working in London). Whilst on that machine I had access to all of my usual Visual Studio, SQL Server Management studio etc. and the only slowdown I did experience was when I tried to view a video via Edge on the Remote Desktop. Once I'd switched to watching that video via Edge on my Lumia it was back to business as usual with a good quality stream.  The whole experience was nothing short of amazing and the most useful piece of kit I've ever experienced. I understand that not everyone works the same, but this is one severly shocked Power user who has nothing but praise for both the 950 and the Continuum experience. If this is the early Beta days of Continuum then we are in for some serious goodness somewhere down the line. Everyone who saw me working today were asking where I got the kit from and were asking why we weren't using that kind of stuff at work. Hopefully we may have seen the end of the Lumia's but not the end of Continuum.
  • Zac/Daniel etc.  While I realize this device and services associated with it are geared towards enterprise users, is there any reason why eventually, a consumer version of the HP Workspace couldn't extend to individual purchasers instead of just corporate accounts?  Is there any technical limitation beyond not wanting to deal with individual accounts (most probably due to lack of ROI).  This seems to me to be kind of like the way Office 365 began.  I'd love an affordable way to virtualize and use my device as a full fledged windows machine in certain instances.
  • Will hold off on this then, might get a 950 until the improvements come.
  • Zac, Could you please insert a 950 or 950XL into the HP dock to see if it works with it? Thanks
  • I would also like to know if 950XL supports 4k. Via the Display Dock and/or Wirelessly connecting to my TV. Thanks.
  • hey there, the only problem I can see is if the 950 or 950 xl will fit in the dock. all phones have usb-c which is one of the options for connecting (the other being miracast) so its just a matter of do the dimensions of the phones fit the slot the hp elite x3 goes in.
  • I still wish they would take my feedback and change where All Apps exists in the Mobile version and match the desktop on the Left of the Start and possibly change the arrow icon (can't use arrow symbols for some reason???) to the tiles squares group |-=_| right?
  • Great Gadget
  • If you feel limitations with continuum you can just RDP (via continuum) to your awesome rig at home or work for the heavy lifting. :)
  • Zac, is Edge AU stable on the Elite? I found it very buggy. I used to remote to my office with the Citrix HTML5 client and worked well, now the mouse stops working if I change tabs, very annoying. I have the L950    
  • hey there. thanks for the review on continuum running on the hp elite x3. like you, majority of my used apps are UWP so its great to be able to use these apps when in continuum mode. probably one of my favorite features (because im super lazy haha) is being able to unlock my phone using my keyboard rather than unlocking my phone on the phone screen. its one feature i requested before the anniversary update in feedback, so im glad to see that request was answered. :D if in the future (1) my phone screen can be turned off while using continuum, and (2) windowed mode, to me continuum will be perfect.
  • I think the concept is great and I had a chance to play with a prototype a few weeks ago at one of our TechZone. I was so inspired I wrote an article about this device and the technology concept that I believe lead up to this product concept. Take a read and let me know what you think: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/old-idea-new-life-todd-pekats?trk=prof-post​    
  • It's a chipset and a software thing called "connected standby". Windows 8.1 and beyond supports it, and Intel Atom and the newer Intel Core processors support it (since Surface Pro 3). I thought of the dual boot thing myself. It's a good option if "full Windows all the time" is too much of a battery drain. I'd be happy with that.
  • Cool! But so... The continuum is like first time experiencing a Windows Phone 8? But it's slower right?
  • Good article! Yeah, I still TOTALLY believe in Window 10 Mobile, the UWP, and Continuum. I still think it's the single best, most compelling, most tantalizing, most promising strategy in the ENTIRE tech world - even better than the admittedly quite impressive "Chromedroid". I think it'll survive the very rough, very humbling, and very difficult short term, and eventually thrive in the long term. But yeah, in the short term, Continuum still seems pretty half-baked. Don't get me wrong, if we ever see a serious Windows 10 flagship phone supported by (or at least whitelisted by) Verizon (preferably something first-party), I'm totally biting - even if I keep my iPhone as a backup. But I think there is still a serious disconnect between what Continuum -CAN BE- (and I believe -WILL BE-) and what it is now. It's still "not there" yet, it seems. So this review doesn't really surprise me at all. At a BARE MINIMUM we need "Windowed Mode", and ideally, whether it be natively on the phone hardware itself, or by proxy, through additional hardware built into the dock, we'd also see Win32 support (at least until UWP is developed and robust enough to stand on its own - which at the moment it is NOT). If we can have both of those, then Continuum will rule the world. Offer a dock with additional graphics and CPU hardware to offer serious PC gaming potential, and the circle will be complete. But even if we never see any of that, and just have Windowed mode, and an increased number of available UWP apps, then I think Continuum will still at least be enough of an offering to be taken very seriously. In the meanwhile, we're optimistic, and "cheerleaders"....but "optimistic cheerleaders" still in waiting. Cheers! (no pun intended) :-)
  • Application and desktop virtualization using the HP X3 and HP's services. That's what should be reviewed. Make it happen guys.
  • Cannot edit a large document with tables using Continuum. Typing slows down to a crawl. Continuum needs improvements.
  • which phone do you use?
  • Lumia 950 with display dock.
  • Wait till redstone 3, maybe Continuum can deliver the desktop experience. but only for some select device with huge hardware power.
  • the fact that I 've been using continuum on my 950 almost every day and pretty can handle most of my daily task . except when I need Mathlab or visual studio, which can still done thru Remote Desktop on Azure or VMware, (for this case HP workspace) I personal very happy with my investment into this device. Of course I can't get apps like Pokémon, but for who don't play games, that is not an issue for me.
  • lumia 2520 , snapdragon 800 can run 20+ apps at the same time , multiple windows, real desktop mode , i was really shocked to see continuum limited like this .
  • hmm, An interesting view, I would say. But if I were to use it, I would need entirely different set of needs. in my expereince of working on a PC, I rarely use what is called 'windowed mode' in here. Even though I do work on a number of files at the same time, I am quite used to moving to the new tab or window, and then move back to the file that I am actually workign on. My concern is that if continuum could handle PPT and Excel files which are in exess of 10 MB easily. If yes, I am sure I can be equally productive (or more given I won't get distracted by my phone) than current PC. If not, then contium will only be of casual use for me. I am sure as more powerful processors get lauched, we will see the time where working on large files will be breeze on contium and that is the time when it will really start to cannibalize the PC and 2-in-1 markets
  • Zac, did you use it with continuum over wifi or ethernet? If you used both, how much faster was it connected via ethernet? Thanks
  • So using Continuum is like using an iPAD to do work...hmmmm... and people at iPAD universe says they can do real work.  How come iPAD users are proud that they can do work in iPAD + Keyboard but Windows mobile users says mehhhhh...or not there yet.  Could it be that iPAD people are take it as it is?  Like its okay for some compromises.  Time will tell.
  • This is the first generation of the "Continuum mode" in Windows 10 mobile devices. I hope that Microsoft  reads what folks say they do not like about this First generation of Continuum devices and sofware and improve it. this feature is important to to windows 10 mobile and the Full windows 10 desktop/tablet OS because software can be written to use it to better integrate Windows 10 mobile devices to work with full Windows 10 computers and  IOT devices of various kinds
  • I just hope continuum doesnt end up like version '3' of the band...really disapointing that the lead the way with something then cant make it work.
  • Continuum isn't the only game in town. SuperBook is coming early next year for Android. I joined their Kickstarter compaign because I'm using Android these days. You are supposed to be able to use the SuperBook as a 2nd monitor when attached to a Windows laptop or tablet. Often hotel Wifi is plain bad. Running apps remotely from a server will be trying in those instances.
  • lol superlag
  • If you can be productive in Continuum you can also be productive on an iPad or Android tablet.
  • Very true, but in either scenario you'd have to own the tablet PLUS your phone. Continuum offers you a way to do it with only one device.
  • Notice that UWP only have a maximised and maximised view on a PC, no windowed view. Other that those all you have is the split screen view. Continuum will probably go the same direction. On touch devices, it's better that way I would argue.
  • That's not true; UWP apps can be dynamically resized.
  • Lack of multiwindow is a total deal breaker and makes the desktop experience much less special. Can you open up something separately on the actual phone screen?
  • Can you open up something separately on the actual phone screen?
    Yes.
  • I think this technology is amazing. It'll just take several years to trickle down into use. A business has to look at their next hardware purchase/lease cycle and decide whether to deploy laptops and phones or phones, docks, and a half-decent terminal server (assuming they don't have one already). The whole thing still feels experimental right now, though. Microsoft needs to really step up and sell it - this is the core feature of their Phone OS, after all.
  • I thought continuum was a way of carring on work from one computer to an other, not using a phone as your desktop.  Not that gorund breaking then,   
  • Point to note,the Elite X3 Dock has a display port and not HDMI port,adapter will be needed ,as HDMI is standard port for displaying to different screen types.