HP’s Elite x3 Windows 10 smartphone/desktop hybrid may launch soon

HP Elite X3
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
Want a Windows 10 desktop that you can shove into your pocket? HP revealed such a beast back in February, a smartphone that can be used as a desktop computer when plugged into a special dock. Called the HP Elite x3, this device has now appeared on the FCC’s website, indicating that it should be heading to store shelves soon.

As a refresher, this phone will sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (MSM8996) processor, 4GB of system memory, and 64GB of internal storage. The Gorilla Glass 4-protected screen will measure 5.96-inches and provide a 2,560 x 1,440p resolution, making this phone somewhat of a “phablet.” It will even have a 16MP camera mounted on the back and an 8MP camera on the front for hi-res selfies.

If 64GB of storage isn’t enough, the phone will provide a microSD card slot for up to 256GB of additional space. That seemingly sets business customers up to use the device as a pocket computer, storing a multitude of important files to port from location to location without the need for a briefcase. Wireless AC, Bluetooth 4.1, and USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity completes this cool mobile package.

To make the Elite x3 a complete computing experience, it will use the latest Windows 10 operating system that includes Microsoft’s Continuum technology. When the phone is connected to a dock or adapter that’s attached to a TV or monitor, Continuum launches a full-blown desktop environment. All users need to do then is attach a mouse and keyboard to the dock. Heck, the phone can even be used as a touchpad!

“Even when you’re connected to a display or monitor, you can still use your phone in all the usual ways,” Microsoft says. “Make and receive calls, send texts, check your social media apps — it’s all still a tap away.”

According to HP, the upcoming smartphone is actually built for business users, designed to pass MIL-STD 810G testing, meaning the device is rugged, able to endure environments that would otherwise be hellish on your standard smartphone. The phone is listed as dust resistant and water resistant although accidental damage caused to the device requires an optional HP Accidental Damage Protection Care Pack.

Once the phone goes live, HP will offer the optional Desk Dock that contains a DisplayPort connector, two USB ports, a USB Type-C port, and an Ethernet port. The phone, with or without a protective case, simply sits on the device in portrait mode. HP will also provide at launch the Mobile Extender, a 12.5-inch HD display that can connect to the dock if an HDTV or monitor is not on hand.

Finally, the upcoming phone will play host to HP Workspace, a catalog of x86-based apps provided through a virtualized solution developed by HP and Citrix. Salesforce1 will be added as well so that users can run their businesses utilizing cloud-based tools, and so that sales reps can update their customer and CRM data on the go.

HP didn’t provide an exact release date when it introduced the Elite x3 during Mobile World Congress, only indicating that it would hit the market this summer. However, with the phone now landing on the FCC, a release date, pricing, and a list of accessories will likely be coughed up soon, so stay tuned.


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