MWC 2016: HP unleashes mobility with new Elite x3 ecosystem

HP Inc. today unveiled a new smartphone solution at MWC 2016, designed to power a new ecosystem to drive the next generation of mobile computing.

With the aim of providing a market-leading level of versatility to address the shift in how and where we work, the HP Elite x3 with Windows 10 mobile bridges phablet, laptop and desktop use cases from a single device while enabling users to run key productivity apps seamlessly across all these different experiences.

Dion Weisler, president and chief executive officer, HP Inc said: "Commercial mobility is prime for disruption, and has never seen innovation at this scale. The HP Elite x3 is a revolutionary mobile platform that enables mobility and computing to come together in a truly meaningful way. Together with the strength of our partners, we’re propelling the industry forward and turning the promise of mobile productivity into a reality for customers."

HP is certainly excited about this one. The "one device that's every device" is a built-for-business phablet designed to deliver mobile, laptop and desktop productivity right from your pocket, by making use of Windows 10's Continuum feature to easily transition between a phone and desktop environment.

In a meeting with Michael Park - vice president and general manager of Mobility at HP Inc. - earlier last week, he spoke about the increased level of expectation from today's generation of mobile workers and highlighted pain points such as having too many devices and cables to carry around (“the number of devices will continue to explode”), the strain this puts on IT departments ("the need to secure and manage these devices has become super important”) and the issue of having desktop apps that are hard to handle in a mobile world ("those apps have got to think about how they can live in a world of mobility").

This new solution aims to address these problems by packing everything the modern mobile worker needs into one "killer" device. The phone itself features a 6-inch display, the latest Qualcomm 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, a massive 4,150 mAh battery to last a full day of work and a range of security solutions, including dual biometrics, Secure Boot and Image Encryption.

Collaboration is a primary focus of the Elite x3, so the device boasts and 8-megapixel front facing camera, optimised audio, background noise cancellation and dual front-firing speakers to enhance the Skype experience. According to Park, most of the development time spent with executives and productivity workers was around this area as HP had to "really understand how to deliver in key use cases that really matter for end users."

HP Elite x3

So the device itself is pretty impressive, both from a performance and style point of view, but it's the accessories - namely the HP Desk Dock and Mobile Extender - that bring the whole ecosystem together. The Dock brought out a zinger of a line from Park, who labelled as a device that "allows users to travel light, but dock large." It features a DisplayPort for external monitor support, two USB-A and a USB-C connection, wired Ethernet and rapid charging (30 per cent faster than a normal cable) to provide a full desktop experience for the Elite x3.

The Mobile Extender is in essence a laptop - with a 12.5-inch display and 48 hour battery - but all CPU happens on the phone. Just connect the phone either wirelessly or cabled and you get a laptop experience with the phone doing all the work as all the apps, passwords and files are managed and stored from the Elite x3.

Park added: "Our customer insights indicated that there are a group of commercial customers where their needs for mobility and PC-level productivity are not being met."

“The HP Elite x3 is where we see the future of computing heading – one device that can truly act like every device: a modern technology solution for a mobile-centric workplace combined with greater benefits for IT.”