Here's how much HP's 3-in-1 PC replacement will cost you

Pricey, but cheaper than a pub full of BOFHs

HP Inc has disclosed pricing for HP Workspace, the Windows app-streaming service that allows its new Elite x3 business phone to fully replace a PC.

Although Universal apps on Windows 10 mobile apps can adapt to run fullscreen with a keyboard and mouse, Workspace is needed to run legacy Win32 apps, which don’t run natively on ARM devices such as the x3. Workspace streams the apps to the Elite x3 at 15fps, sufficient for most business applications.

The per-user monthly pricing is $79 and $40, depending on how much Win32 you need. Both packages give you a dedicated two-core vCPU. $79 buys you 8GB of virtual machine RAM and 80 hours per month, and unlimited apps. The more basic “Essential" tier aimed at “mostly mobile” workers buys you a 4GB RAM virtual machine and 40 hours of app streaming a month, limited to up to 10 apps.

This isn’t cheap, but as Windows watcher Steve Litchfield points out, it’s cheaper than paying an in-house IT team to sit around all day, setting fire to the bins.

And you can blame Microsoft for the pricing. VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) as a service can be found cheaper via AWS, but Microsoft still sets a floor price.

You may not need HP Workspace at all to make use of the Elite x3, it runs some UWP surprisingly well. It’s just that many applications are missing in UWA format – as we found when we tried to use Continuum for real work.

HP has built a comprehensive hardware and software package around the promise of Windows 10 – including a laptop dock (basically a shell of a laptop with a 12.5 inch HD display – pdf), and a desk dock. Orders can be placed with HP for the phone but Microsoft has yet to fulfil its side of the bargain, as Continuum remains resolutely single window for now.

The Elite x3 plus desk dock costs £706.80 (incl.VAT)

We’ll have a hands-on and review for you shortly. ®

HP Workspace

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