Thinner than the thinnest netbook or ultrabook, very solid and made (almost) completely from premium materials and components, the HP Elite x3 Lap Dock is a curious piece of technology. Designed as a laptop form factor to function as a Windows 10 Continuum display, is it a glimpse of the future of mobile computing or an ultra niche accessory? Actually, a little of both. Does it work? Is it finished? Is it over-priced? These are questions that I'll be answering in my multi-part review here on AAWP.
I seem to have become synonymous with various things, one being smartphone imaging and another being power bank reviews, with the flexible and future-proof Lumsing Glory P2 Plus being the latest and best. Yet the OUTXE (OUTdoor Xtreme Energy, apparently!) Rugged Power Bank offers a totally different USP - it's fully waterproof (to a maximum of IP67) and pitches itself as the ultimate accessory for the outdoor enthusiast, with a seven LED 200 hour floodlight that's perfect for camping or emergencies.
Last week saw my full review of Avion Flight Simulator 2015, which I was really impressed by, interstitial ads notwithstanding. Happily, for the follow-up simulator, Seven Summit Studios went down the commercial game route, with Rail Road Train Simulator 2016 costing just over £2 in the UK Store, but with the same idea of working your way through many steam engines and accomplishing various missions/tasks. It's not quite as awe inspiring as 'Avion', but as a steam fan anyway, there was still plenty here to find interesting.
Lumsing is at it again, upping the ante just as I think I've already found my perfect smartphone power bank. The Unique Selling Points of the Glory P2 Plus are notable here - I'd normally consign a charger review to the 'Flow' column but this one needs more comment - this is not your common or garden power bank. Parallel charging through two inputs, adaptive high-spec outputs, sublime flexibility and there's an exclusive 10% offer too (see my PS).
Yes, yes, it's true that the game's name includes '2015', but look past any worries over the title being 'old' because it's certainly not. Avion Flight Simulator 2015 is the most challenging flight sim game that I've played for ages on a phone. With a choice of three flight models and surprising variety in terrain and weather, the 'just one more challenge' gameplay is absolutely addictive.
Available for all variants of Windows Phone and also Windows 8 and 10 on PCs and tablets, Belgian developers Image-Line appear to be expert in their trade. The 'FL' in the name stems from FruityLoops, a sequencer-based music application on the desktop that I remember reviewing for the PC back in the late 1990s - and here we are, almost twenty years later with a full music studio in the palm of your hand, in my case tested on a HP Elite X3, whose stereo speakers show off FL Studio Mobile 3's capabilities pretty well. As a commercial application, is it worth £12? You bet it is, with only a couple of caveats.
Back in the summer of 2015, I looked briefly at a new Feedly-compatible news reader for Windows Phone 8.1 - FeedLab looked very promising, perhaps too feature-packed for its own good compared to the simpler Nextgen Reader. Fast forward 17 months and we have a new, totally reworked FeedLab, now a full Windows 10 UWP app, looking great on the phone, on Continuum displays, on tablets and laptops, even on Xbox. If you want a New Year's resolution for 2017 then how about you grab this and take charge of your Feedly news on Windows 10 Mobile?
'Why on earth would anyone want to run programs written for DOS on a phone in 2016?' I hear you ponder. And you'd be right, the whole idea is somewhat crazy, yet there might just be a classic game or a specific utility written for DOS (so we're talking about 1980-2000) that you'd still like to have on hand. In which case run, don't walk, to this supremely well implemented DOS-on-Intel x86 emulation, complete with support for audio, games controllers, plus mouse and keyboard. It's newly updated for Windows 10 Mobile and comes highly recommended.
Take a classic cross-platform 2013 WW1 flight simulation multi-player game and update it as a full Windows 10 UWP, for mobile, tablet and desktop, add in loads more planes, tanks, scenery and weapons, upgrade all the visuals and music, put it all together and you've got Dogfight Elite UWP. It's impressive in a number of ways if you have a fast enough phone with enough RAM, even if it does require a fair amount of real world cash to get really immersed within.
I'm in two minds as to whether I want my secure database app on Windows 10 Mobile to be a 'reader' or a full editor (and with syncing). For the latter, I'd have full adding-on-the-fly facility. On the other hand, with the former I get peace of mind that a potentially immature Windows UWP app can't 'mess up' the intricate data in my master Keepass 2.x data file. KeePassReader, as the name suggests, is the latter and works surprisingly well.