Review: HP Elite x3, The First '3-In-1' Computing Device

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After several days of trying out the new HP Elite x3 at the CRN Test Center, we’re not ready yet to predict whether this is the future of computing.

CRN Test Center

But the device is definitely futuristic.

It feels legitimate to say, as HP does, that the Elite x3 is a new category of device—the “3-in-1.” Meaning, the phablet-sized device provides the computing for mobile, desktop and laptop experiences.

[Related: HP Elite X3 Windows Smartphone Is For Business People, Not Gamers]

With the PC market withering, HP deserves credit for this ambitious, inventive vision for where business computing could be headed.

You will need additional hardware—a display, dock, keyboard and mouse—to use it as a desktop. And you’ll need HP’s new “Lap Dock” to use it as a laptop.

But the Elite x3, which runs Windows 10 Mobile, can serve as the one computer behind all three.

The device is HP's answer to the mobile-ization and Millennial-ization of the workforce. Though to us, the initial version of the Elite x3 seems best suited for the workers that only spend a very limited amount of time in the office.

In our tryout, the Elite x3 was just not as fast for all tasks as typical desktop or laptop PCs.

The device uses the quad-core Snapdragon 820, a great processor that also powers Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge.

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