Many people say cell phones are like mini computers in your pocket however as the Galaxy Note 9 is a powerhouse that can run circles around most people’s laptops, I have to disagree and say that the Note 9 is a computer in your pocket. The HP Elite Laptop Dock was a premium accessory for a mobile phone that really did not sell well, this phone was the HP Elete X3. The Laptop Dock was specifically made to show off the Windows Mobile “continuum” feature to allow business customers to access a (almost) full Windows 10 Desktop while on the road by simply connecting the laptop dock to your HP Elite X3 phone via a simple USB Type C cable. As phone did not sell well and has since been discontinued, the price of these laptop docks have fallen sharply and this laptop dock works perfectly with Samsung Dex – if you have a Note 9 or Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.Warning – This only works with the Galaxy Note 9 or Galaxy Tab S4. It will not work with the Note 8, S8, S8+, S9, S9+ or any other model that is not the Note 9 or Galaxy Tab S4. Using the HP Elite Laptop Dock on a unsupported model of phone will not damage it or your phone but you will not get Dex – you will simply be limited to screen mirroring as if it were a HDMI output
Features of the HP Elite X3 Laptop Dock
The HP Elite X3 Laptop dock has a pretty extensive list of features that make it almost essential for Galaxy Note 9 owners who wish to be productive while away from their desk and who wish to take advantage of the full power of their phone. The HP Elite X3 Laptop Dock packs the following:
- An Integrated 45.5 WHr Battery that both powers the Dock and keeps the connected phone fully charged while in operation.
- 1 USB Type C Port to connect your phone and 2x USB Type C Ports to connect the included USB C power brick and other USB-C accessories. You can of course use a OTG cable if you need legacy USB support.
- A 12.5 inch Full HD (1080p) Display
- MicroHDMI Output (I have not tested this with Dex yet, ordered a cable and will update this post soon)
- Integrated Speakers (Tuned by Bang and Olufsen)
- Headphone Port on the Dock to connect headphones (useful if Samsung kills the headphone port on the Note 10)
- Full Size Keyboard
After playing with the HP Elite Dock for a few hours, here is a quick review
The setup could not be any easier. Simply connect your phone with the included Type C cable to the USB Type C port on the left of the keyboard and select Launch Dex on your phone. Aside from charging the keyboard dock for a bit, it really cannot get easier. Everything should just work.
The build quality of the HP Elite Dock is exactly whar you would expect from a premium HP product. The outer case is made of black plastic but it does not feel like the cheap plastic that you often see on many budget laptops.
The 12.5 inch Full HD screen is simply amazing and the bezels around the screen are kept to a minimum. YouTube and Netflix content all display flawlessly (although Netflix does not seem to allow content to be full-screened)
The speakers are actually surprisingly loud for a laptop but tend to get a bit tinny when listening at high volumes. The laptop dock also features a headphone jack that you can connect headphones to as well.
The HP Elite X3 Laptop Dock has a built in battery that is not only powerful enough to keep the laptop dock running for over 6 hours on a charge but also keep your phone juiced up at the same time. Of course as the laptop dock uses a standard USB Type C (pd) charger, you can juice it up with a USB Power Delivery Battery Pack if you plan to spend a lot of time off the grid. As a bonus, battery packs like the ZMI can both extend battery life and add 2 legacy USB ports to your laptop dock.
Typing on the full-sized backlit keyboard is actually a pleasure as I really enjoy island style keyboards. The key-travel and spacing is far better than I expected. The laptop dock also elevates the keyboard at an angle to allow it to feel more natural for such a thin device. I actually typed this entire post on the HP Elite X3 Laptop Dock.
The trackpad is simply horrible, dare I say unusable. You will want to either use your phone as a touchpad or get a bluetooth mouse. You can also use your SPen on the phone as well when in in Dex mode
Bonus (Wireless Screen Mirroring)
The HP Elite X3 dock supports wireless screen mirroring which will allow you to display content from your phone to the dock over a WiFi connection via Samsung’s Smart Display. While in this mode, you will not be able to interact via keyboard or use Samsung Dex.
A Note on Samsung Dex
Samsung Dex is good but it is not perfect. Gaming and productivity tasks work flawlessly but several applications do not properly load in Dex mode. Netflix for example is stuck in an Android phone window – you can still watch content, just not full screen.