It’s a Phone, It’s a PC, It’s HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet
By asadsheeraz On 22 Feb, 2016 At 10:56 AM | Categorized As Mobile Phones | With 0 Comments

It’s a Phone, It’s a PC, It’s HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet

HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet

HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet

HP Inc.

HP Inc. unveiled its newest desktop and laptop Sunday. Turns out, it’s a phablet.

The big-screen Elite X3 smartphone can be paired with accessories to be used as a PC. A peripheral keyboard and display turns the Elite X3 into a laptop, while a desktop cradle connects the handset to a monitor, mouse and keyboard.

The Elite X3 follows in the footsteps of Microsoft’s Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, two handsets that also run a version of Windows 10 that let them behave like phones or PCs depending on the circumstances. Microsoft MSFT -0.71%’s so-called Continuum software recognizes the phone’s use, and automatically adjusts the interface.

HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet

HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet

HP Inc.

Why is HP suddenly interested in the phone business? Building a device like the Elite X3 wasn’t possible even a year ago, said Ron Coughlin, HP’s president of personal systems. Now that it is, Mr. Coughlin said the company sees a future in a family of such devices.

“Multiple devices and multiple OSes are a huge pain points for consumers,” he said. “IT having to secure consumer devices is a huge pain point for the enterprise. For the first time technology is coordinating to solve those problems.”

As a phone, it’s respectable, with a 5.9-inch, 2,560×1,440 AMOLED display, a dual SIM slot that’s good for international travelers, and dual front-facing speakers created in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen. On front, there’s an 8-megapixel camera; on the rear, there’s a 16-megapixel camera.

HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet

HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet

HP Inc.

The phone charges via a USB Type-C port, the new, versatile format found in forward-looking phones and laptops. The same port is used to connect the phone to its laptop and desktop accessories.

At the X3’s core are the powerful new 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core chipset and 4GB of fast RAM. The phone will have 64GB of internal storage, and a MicroSD card slot for expanded storage (right now you can get a 200GB microSD card for $90).

But are those specs enough to power not just your pocket computer but your mobile and desktop systems?

The Elite X3’s laptop accessory is called the HP Mobile Extender. It has a 12.5-inch display with strikingly thin bezels, and a built-in battery that HP says will extend the phone’s battery life by about 20%. It weighs about 2.2 pounds.

HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet

HP’s New Elite X3 Phablet

HP Inc.

The HP Desk Dock has a DisplayPort to power one monitor (up to 1080p resolution), plus an Ethernet port, two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. The Desk Dock is about the size of a hockey puck—you provide the monitor, mouse and keyboard yourself.

While the promise of one device that can be used as multiple computers is enticing, so far such devices have failed to live up to the dream. WSJ Personal Tech columnist Joanna Stern said the first Continuum phone, Microsoft’s Lumia 950, felt like an unfinished product and that she “can’t recommend buying a $600 proof of concept.”

HP isn’t yet saying how much the Elite X3 or its sold-separately docks will cost, but Michael Park, HP’s vice president of commercial mobility, did say that pricing will be competitive with flagship smartphones. The Elite X3 will ship toward the end of the summer, Mr. Park said.

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