The Elite x3 phablet will start shipping to US customers on August 29, HP announced today.
The standalone phablet will be sold for $699, though the x3 is designed to work with optional docks that add laptop-like features like Ethernet and USB. A bundle that includes a headset and a dock for desktop use will cost $799.
HP announced the Elite x3 at Mobile World Congress in February. Geared towards corporate IT departments and small business users, the 5.96-inch phablet runs a 2.15GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. Thanks to Microsoft's Continuum feature and the help of the bundled docks, it turns into a laptop or desktop PC.
The desktop dock, for instance, adds DisplayPort, Ethernet, two USB 3.0 ports, and a single USB-C port to the mix. Once you connect a monitor, Conitnuum will display content from your phone, including Microsoft Office apps, on the larger display, and you can switch seamlessly between the phablet screen and your external screen.
The lap dock, meanwhile, is essentially a full 12.5-inch laptop that uses the Elite x3 as its processor, storage, and networking. Once connected, its larger battery can also charge the one in the phablet. Pricing for the lap dock was not announced today.
Business travelers constantly on the road will find this unique setup useful, but the docks do not make the x3 a one-for-one replacement for their laptops. While the Elite x3 runs Windows 10, it's the mobile version written for ARM processors. Therefore, to get truly desktop-class apps to work on the Elite x3, your business must be using an enterprise-class remote desktop service like HP Workspace.
That means running the Windows 7/8.1/10 desktop apps on a server in your corporate office with the x3 acting like a thin (or Citrix-style) client, something that may not be possible with a weak airport Wi-Fi connection.