Following several delays, the Microsoft Store finally started selling the HP Elite x3 Windows 10 Mobile flagship in the US this week. The premium handset currently ships with its Continuum Desk Dock which allow users to connect the phone to a big screen, mouse and keyboard and enjoy a lightweight desktop experience.
Just like Microsoft’s own Continuum dock that was designed for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, HP’s Desk Dock relies on an USB-C connection to connect to a Continuum-enabled phone. If you’re wondering if this universal port allows any Windows 10 Mobile handset that supports Continuum to connect to the Desk Dock, the answer is yes, according to Windows Central,who tested it with several phones from Microsoft, Acer and NuAns. According to the report, the Continuum experience worked fine with all phones that supported the feature except for the Lumia 950 for some unknown reason.
Be aware that HP’s Desk dock is quite different from Microsoft’s Continuum dock: HP’s dock literally works as a holder for your phone while Microsoft’s one is a simple black box with an USB-C port on the front to plug your phone with a cable. Windows Central noted that some phones such as the Lumia 950 may not slide well into HP’s Desk dock, though the company has designed additional magnetic shells that you can easily swap for more convenience. One of these shells includes a USB-C cable to allow users to connect to the dock while letting their phone lay flat on a table.
While HP’s Desk Dock has a slightly more premium look than Microsoft’s Display Dock, there are some hardware differences to consider: Microsoft included both DisplayPort and HDMI AV connectors on its dock while HP only went with DisplayPort. However, the Desk Dock includes an RJ-45 port which can be handy to get a more stable Internet connection.
If you're interested in HP's Desk Dock, HP is only selling a $799 bundle including the HP Elite x3 handset for now. If you're looking for cheaper Continuum option, the Microsoft Store still offers the Microsoft Continuum Dock along the purchase of a Lumia 950 or 950 XL, and you can also buy the dock separately for $99. While Continuum is quite a compromised experience today, Microsoft unveiled many upcoming Continuum features such as support for windowed apps during an Ignite 2016 session this week and we can't wait to learn more about them in the coming months.