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Anmeldelse: HP's Elite x3 er for meget smartphone, ikke nok pc

Forestil dig at være i stand til at bære din pc i lommen, bruge det som en smartphone alene og som en komplet pc, når du er tilsluttet et display, tastatur og mus. For folk der arbejder på vejen eller på flere steder, lyder det som nirvana. Dito for skiftearbejdere, fra call centre til detailforhandlere, hvor du har flere medarbejdere end terminaler på et givent tidspunkt.

That’s exactly what HP’s $799 Elite x3 claims to be: a Windows 10 Mobil smartphone that transforms into a full PC when you connect it to desktop peripherals, whether via a dock or wirelessly. But the Elite x3 isn’t a full PC, because of Windows and Office choices that Microsoft has made — and it can’t be one. Thus, the Elite x3 falls short of its core promise. Plus, it’s an awkward smartphone you won’t want to carry around.

PC-industrien og mobilindustrien forsøger begge at finde ud af, hvordan man udvikler sig, med faldende salg af pc og tablet, og stabilisering af smartphone-salg. Innovation for de forskellige formfaktorer har også stoppet, hvilket forårsager, at Apple, Google, Microsoft og andre til genoverveje disse enheder som et kontinuum af klienter kaldet omnidevice.

Den Microsoft Surface Pro, Apple iPad Pro, Google Pixel-C og andre tabtops are one example of this experimental evolution. So too is Google’s enabling of Chromebooks til at køre Android apps, and its rumored ultimate merger of Android and Chrome OS — as are mobilelike laptops like Apple’s MacBook 12 og rækken af ​​2-in-1 hybrid Windows laptops derude.

The Elite x3 joins this parade — but it’s not a new idea. Motorola tried a similar move five years ago in the form of its Atrix Android smartphone, som du har plugget i en Motorola Lapdock bærbar computer dock og kan derefter køre både indfødte Android apps og den desktop Firefox browser (til hjemmesider, ikke pc apps). Desværre er det Atrix og Lapdock var en akavet, begrænset kombination. Android apps didn’t scale up to take full advantage of the laptop’s screen, for example.

This isn’t the Windows or Office you’re looking for

HP Elite X3 Windows 10 Mobile Continuum display

HP Elite x3 er afhængig af Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature to run apps at full monitor resolution when connected to an external display.

The Elite x3, by contrast, does scale up mobile apps using Window 10 Mobile’s Continuum feature, so those Windows 10 Mobile apps look and feel like native desktop Windows apps when you’re using an external display. iOS can’t do that, nor can Android — the best you get on those operating systems are apps that self-configure for a smartphone or tablet screen, but not for external displays.

Here’s the rub: You’re running Windows 10 Mobile apps, not real Windows apps. Not only are there very few such apps — the only browser, for example, is Microsoft’s Edge — but the ones that exist can’t do what real Windows desktop apps can do.

Look no further than Microsoft’s own Office apps. At first, you’ll be impressed that, when you run Word or Excel from that docked Elite x3, you get a desktoplike full screen. Sure, the Windows 10 Start menu is replaced by the smartphone’s home screen, but that’s fine. Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Edge all look like the real thing.

HP Elite X3 Windows 10 Mobil ekstern skærm

Når du kører apps på en ekstern skærm fra Elite x3, får du den Windows 10 Mobile app — not the full Windows 10 app — and the Start menu is replaced with the Windows 10 Mobile Start (Hjem) skærm.

Except they’re not the real thing. You soon realize that you’re not running the Windows desktop you expect and probably need. Office for Windows Mobile is much, much less capable than the Windows 10 Office-version, langt mindre i stand end MacOS Office-versionen, og endnu mindre i stand end den iPad Office version. (It’s about a match to the native Office for Android version and to the Office Online browser versions.) The Det samme gælder for Outlook, hvor funktionaliteten lider under de samme begrænsninger, som Microsoft har pålagt alle platforme, men standard Windows.

Thus, your Elite x3 lets you touch up and revise Office documents, but that’s about it. Forget about serious document creation and formatting — no style creation, for example. It’s simpler to stick with a laptop if you need full Office on the go or to use iOS or Android mobile devices (and get access to their much larger business app libraries).

Omtalte jeg, hvor meget få indfødte forretningsapps er tilgængelige for Windows Mobile?

You’ll also quickly realize you don’t get the full Windows capabilities such as taskbar widgets. You are running Windows Mobile, not Windows. This is not HP’s fault, but Microsoft’s. Microsoft has not ported the full Windows to mobile devices running on the ubiquitous ARM processor, merely a subset. HP can’t fix that; it can only decide if it should build products on what Microsoft has made available.

HP Elite X3 Windows 10 Mobil pegefelt display kontrol

When in display-control mode, the Elite x3’s screen becomes a trackpad for the external display.

Yes, the Elite x3’s ability to show a full-screen app on an external display is cool, as is its ability to provide access to keyboards and mice. But that cool factor is not worth running a crippled subset of Windows apps.

Nor is the full-screen app display as cool as it might be. For example, if you directly launch an app on your Elite X3, then enable external-display control, the app running on the phone is not moved to the external display. Instead, you have to separately launch the app from the external display’s Start menu. That’s an unintuitive UI choice, though it does let you run one app on the smartphone and another on the external display.

When you enable external-display control, the Elite x3 functions as a trackpad for the external display, similar to how Apple’s Remote app lets you control an Apple TV for iTunes playback. As with the Apple Remote app, the experience is initially awkward and unnatural, though it works if you find yourself mouseless when working on the big screen. It gets easier over time, as you mentally map the touchscreen’s virtual canvas to the external display’s screen real estate.

Den omkostningseffektive løsning for appadgang

You can access the full Windows apps (for which you have licenses, of course) if you pay for HP’s subscription-based Workspace service, which is basically a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) where the real clients run on HP’s cloud and users access them remotely. You can also use other VDI systems. But what a wasteful way to get the real Office and other Windows apps.

VDI can be slow and requires a strong broadband connection, which is not always available to mobile users. In the case of Workspace, HP manages the back end, so it won’t be as painful as deploying on-premises VDI, but it’s still another link in a chain to monitor and manage.

Also, the virtual desktop is separate from the local device. Although this serves to keep corporate documents from leaving your back-end servers, it creates a confusing duality of local versus remote work. HP Workspace allows users to connect to corporate Dropbox accounts (Google Drive and Box access is in beta), to which they could then be permitted to access directly from the Elite x3 smartphone for mobile usage. Oddly, HP Workspace doesn’t support the Microsoft OneDrive or SharePoint services that a Windows-centric organization is likely to have in place.

Because HP Workspace doesn’t function unless the Elite x3 is docked to an external display, it’s only useful for scenarios where users will assuredly be working at a Desk Dock-equipped office. Other VDI systems can run apps on a smartphone screen; if your users work on the go and you want to keep some apps restricted to the back end, HP Workspace isn’t the right choice.

Rather than mess with the overhead and complexity of VDI, it’s typically better to issue users a Windows laptop or MacBook, which also ensures your users have all the capabilities they need, when they need them, on devices you manage like your others.

The Elite x3’s management challenge

Speaking of management, that’s another area where the Elite x3 is overly complicated. Here again, the fault is Microsoft’s, not HP’s. Windows 10 Mobile isn’t managed the same way as real Windows 10 PCs typically are: via System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) or similar tool. Instead, you manage it via Microsoft’s Intune or an enterprise mobility management (EMM) suite as if it were an iOS or Android device.

Du kan bruge SCCM til at styre Intune and, in turn, manage the Elite X3, but that’s a complex setup. Or you can Administrer Elite x3 direkte via dit foretrukne EMM-værktøj, without SCCM at all, again as if it were an iOS or Android device — as long as your mobile team is prepared to manage these pseudo-Windows devices.

I do believe that PCs and mobile devices are on a path to joint, universal management, and if you’re udforske Windows 10-baserede EMM for Surface Pros and the like, you might as well add Elite x3s to the mix. But you’ll be ved blødkanten i de kommende år, som vil dine brugere. Implementér i overensstemmelse hermed. Husk: En Surface Pro kan styres af både den gamle skole SCCM tilgang og den nye skole EMM tilgang Elite x3 kun ved EMM tilgangen.

Det forvirrende periferiudstyr spil

The Elite x3’s hardware ecosystem is also complex to manage because you will either need a dock and compatible hardware at each location, compatible wireless equipment, or a combination of the two.

The HP Desk Dock, included in a $799 Elite X3 bundle, has a full-size DisplayPort (which only newer displays support), one USB-C port, two USB 2 (Type A) ports, and an Ethernet port. For people who work at multiple locations, you’ll want multiple docks, but HP hasn’t yet said whether it will sell the Desk Docks separately and, if so, at what price. (You can buy an Elite x3 without the Desk Dock for $699, but you’re merely getting a Windows 10 Mobil smartphone til brug som en selvstændig enhed.)

HP also plans to sell the Lap Dock that is like the old Motorola Lapdock: Use a cable to tether your Elite X3 to it and you have a functioning Windows Mobile laptop computer. Note that its ports differ from the Desk Dock: There are two USB-C ports and one MicroHDMI port (not common on displays, so you’ll need an adapter), plus built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi. HP says a bundle of the Elite x3, the Desk Dock, and Lap Dock will cost $1,299. There’s no word as to whether the Lap Dock will be available for separate purchase as well.

You don’t need a Desk Dock or Lap Dock to connect the Elite x3 to peripherals. You can use a USB-C adapter for your display’s VGA, HDMI, or other input. (HP sells a USB-C-to-VGA adapter for $19, but nothing for HDMI, DisplayPort, MiniDisplayPort, or DVI video ports, all of which are newer than the still nearly universal VGA.) Or you can use Wi-Fi to drive a display with Miracast (WiDi) wireless connectivity built-in or with a Miracast receiver attached. (Such a Miracast display is most likely to be a TV.)

HP Elite X3 Windows 10 Mobil Bluetooth-parring

Bluetooth roulette: Windows 10 Mobile isn’t very helpful in distinguishing among Bluetooth devices when you try to pair a keyboard or mouse. All devices in range show up, most marked as simply “Accessory.”

Elite x3 understøtter også Bluetooth-tastaturer og mus. Men vær advaret det Windows 10 Mobile is pretty stupid about Bluetooth devices, so you’ll get a list filled mainly with ones named “Accessory.” They could be computers, smartphones, headsets, keyboards, mice, earbuds, or headphones. Some will be more clearly named; my Apple Magic Mouse showed up as Mouse, for example. Even then, in an office with lots of Bluetooth devices, you won’t know which “Mouse” is yours.

Brugere på et minimum vil helt sikkert have brug for at bære adapterkabler til skærme. Fordi Bluetooth-tastaturer og mus ikke er standardproblem uden for Mac-miljøer, kan brugere muligvis bære disse enheder eller en ekstra Desk Dock, når de rejser. De kunne købe en Lap Dock, men så hvorfor ikke udstede dem en bærbar computer i første omgang? Det vil koste mindre og give mere kapacitet.

Smartphone designet til Hulk

As a smartphone, the Elite x3 is a beast. It’s too large — 16 percent larger than a Galaxy Note 5 and 9 percent larger than a iPhone 7 Plus, the leading phablets — to be used single-handedly, so you’ll need both hands free to work with it. It’s also heavy: 6.8 ounces, or 14 percent heavier than the Note 5 and 8 percent heavier than the iPhone 7 Plus. The HP Elite x3 should be the size of the iPhone 7 or Galaxy S7 to be used widely as a smartphone; phablets are popular but still not the main preference of users.

Otherwise, it’s a nice device, with a good (6-inch) screen and good battery life, plus support for Qi contact charging. The Elite x3 is an unlocked GSM phone, so it works on AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the United States, both 3G and LTE. (Verizon and Sprint users are left out in the cold.)

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