Understanding the HP Elite x3

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows Phones with 62 Comments

Understanding the HP Envy x3

As some of you may have noticed, I’m a bit down on the HP Elite x3 as a smartphone. But as a locked-down “3-in-1” PC for businesses only, the Elite x3 could make sense. Maybe.

The issue here is simple: Windows phone has failed as a smartphone platform. It offers little in the way of critical apps outside of Microsoft’s in-box offerings, in particular the Office apps. And mainstream support for Windows phone is getting worse every day, with more and more existing apps silently disappearing from the platform. Even Microsoft has “drained the swamp” of its own Windows phones, and has stopped supporting Skype on the Windows phones that most people use.

So why on earth would HP sell a Windows phone now?

First, HP had no choice: Android doesn’t have the security and manageability choices that HP’s business customers demand. And Apple, of course, is not open to iOS licensing.

Second and perhaps most importantly, HP isn’t positioning the Elite x3 as a smartphone. Consumers aren’t going to see commercials for the device, and they won’t be offered it when they walk into their local AT&T or Verizon retail store. In fact, if you look on HP.com, what you’ll see is that HP doesn’t even have a “Phone” section: This device is found under “Laptops & tablets.”

But HP isn’t marketing the Elite x3 at individuals, and that’s where my “trolling” comes from: I need to be very clear that this is not a device that any individual should purchase, no matter their level of misplaced affection for Windows phone. That ship has sailed, folks. I care about you and how you spend your phone. I cannot with a clear conscience recommend such an expensive purchase.

hp

But then the HP Elite x3 isn’t for you. The HP Elite x3 is aimed at managed businesses with a formal IT infrastructure. The goal is to save those companies money by offering them a complete IT solution—which includes hardware, software, and services—and not just “a phone.” In fact, HP is pretty honest about the fact that most Elite x3 users will still retain their personal smartphone too. After all, normal people like the choices—apps, media ecosystems, and so on—that iPhone and Android provide.

You can see the business focus all over the Elite x3 web site. The device is “designed … for employees,” not for individuals. It is “built for business”, a solution for “traveling professionals” and “your mobile employees.” It’s very clear.

With that in mind, I’m trying to evaluate the HP Elite x3 fairly, and within the context of the market it really serves. Yes, my personal biases are getting in the way here. Partially for the reasons stated above, and partially because I try to focus on personal technologies that benefit real human beings. In many ways, the Elite x3 is an attempt to stem the tide of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and return IT departments to the centralized control they prefer. And I sort of have an issue with that.

That said, it’s also fair to say that BYOD is much stronger in smaller businesses. And that the Elite x3 represents an interesting step forward for more traditional and larger businesses that are wrestling with other modern trends, including the rise of millennials in the workforce and their desire to “work anywhere,” and especially away from the head office. In this new world of work, traditional IT departments find themselves outside their comfort zone, so a device like the Elite x3—which is limited as a phone and requires excellent connectivity to work like a PC—could check some boxes.

So I give HP some credit for at least going for it. I feel that they couldn’t have stacked the deck against themselves more if they tried, but again, that’s just me and my calcified opposition to anything Windows phone related in 2016. (Seriously, you do have to wonder if a future version of this device will simply run Android and solve everyone’s problems. OK, I’ll stop.)

So what is the value proposition here?

According to HP, the Elite x3 is the result of asking customers what they need and then delivering something that meets those needs, and not the reverse. As noted, it’s a solution, not a standalone phone. So it includes other hardware, like a desktop-based Desk Dock and assorted peripherals, and a coming laptop-like Lap Dock. It includes HP software. And of course it includes HP services, most notably the Workspace service that brings datacenter-hosted Windows desktop apps down to a docked Elite x3 so you can use it like a real PC.

Much of what makes the Elite x3 interesting comes of course from Continuum, the Windows 10 Mobile technologies that enable HP to market this device as a “3-in-1.” That is, by itself the Elite x3 is of course a phone, albeit one that is pretty much limited to the in-box apps and a shrinking set of core third-party apps. Attach it to the Desk Doc and a keyboard, mouse, and keyboard, and you have a PC-like solution. And if you hit the road with the Lap Dock, it becomes a laptop of sorts.

At this particular slice in time, Continuum is Microsoft’s sole advantage in the mobile space, and a source of understandable pride in Redmond. I am of the feeling that Continuum capabilities can easily be duplicated by Google with Android, but that’s sort of beside the point: Today, this solution must compete with traditional set ups—most workers have both a smartphone and PC—and emerging threats like Chromebook and iPad Pro. Neither of which are going to sit still for Microsoft or HP.

Continuum speaks to an IT mindset as well. In a world in which individuals routinely sync data to the cloud and then access it from any device, the Elite x3 promises a more familiar experience where data is always available because it’s on that device. Which transforms between phone, laptop, and desktop PC form factors, meaning it provides a different way—and almost old-fashioned way—of ensuring your data is always there. There’s no need to sync.

Looking ahead, the Elite x3, or at least some form of Continuum-based transformable, could very well disrupt the PC market. Today, its complementary, and is, in fact, a PC in all the ways that matter to IT. And that, I think, is what’s really happening here: The Elite x3, despite its limitations, especially as a phone, scratches an itch in IT.

Will it take off? We’ll see. I’ll be looking more at the phone itself, its many peripherals and add-ons, and it supporting services in the weeks ahead. Who knows? Maybe at the end of this, I won’t be so down on the Elite x3. But no promises.

More soon.

 

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  1. 7 | Reply
    tbtalbot Alpha Member #152 - 1 month ago

    I've had the Elite x3 for almost a month now.   It's been very nice to own.  The battery life is extremely impressive and the large screen is good for getting things done.    I also got an iPhone7 at the same time, as a backup, and haven't really had to use it because I'm not finding any apps there that I need that I don't already have on the HP phone.

    I've experimented for a week now with continuum, which works fairly well but could use some improvements.    I've got my own 'HP Workspace" for free by using the remote desktop connection from my cowork space to my home office computer.   This means I can walk around downtown without a computer and just plug this thing into a dock at the cowork and my life has become more convenient.      The remote desktop is very useful and I have equivalent productivity to having a normal laptop.     The speakerphone is really excellent.

    There have been a few downsides:  1) I wish there were a setting to set the sound output device,   2) I've got a 128GB hard drive and wish the OneDrive app would allow my to sync a local copy on the phone, 3) Only getting 1920x1080 on my 4K monitor and 4) no extensions in edge (would be nice to kill some ads).

    As far as running under continuum proper, its a slight adjustment, but I find that nearly all my regular apps work in continuum (office, mail/calendar, tweetium, crunchyrool, readit, edge, USAA, uber, etc.)   I've got apps or good web support for everything I use.  New UWP apps are helping.    I would be in trouble, if certain windows phone apps left (kindle, United Airlines), however.

    Overall, the HP Elite x3 is serving me well as a business phone and computing device.   Thinking of giving the perfectly serviceable iPhone7 to my daughter.

  2. 3 | Reply
    mmcpher Alpha Member #245 - 1 month ago

    Thanks for taking a second look and giving it a second thought.  The x3 has always been marketed as an enterprise device.  I don't think I've ever encountered a marketing campaign (which heavily influenced the media coverage and commentary on the x3) that quite so emphatically declaimed to me, as an individual consumer "DO NOT BUY THIS DEVICE!".  The problem was that initial teaser trailers for the device were nonetheless intriguing.  It had the look and specs of a high-end consumer device. 


    But the HP Elite x3 is unquestionably made for business, and not, in its highest, best use, on a BYOD basis, but as part of a wider committment to HP's line of related accessories and software suites.  For this reason, if no other, the x3 deserves this cite's attention, as Microsoft has repeatedly reaffirmed it is going to remain in the mobile segment, and all signs point to it being concentrated in the Enterprise.  Isn't the x3 taking the point on this patrol?  They are pushing Continuum out of the garage and into the workplace.  It's not there yet, of course.  You can't even yet access the entire package of applications or dedicated accessories, especially the HP Lap Dock.  I always thought the Atrix was an interesting concept, but it always felt like a proof of concept that wandered into a retail store.  The x3 is at least closer to at home than the Atrix.  If there is such a thing as a Surface Phone, I would expect the Microsoft team is keenly interested in what HP has done and how the x3 will do or not.  So why shouldn't this cite keep an open mind and watch developments generally, rather than just glancing for confirmation that Windows Mobile phones are dead?   

    I recently had my x3 with me when I was looking to buy a new large screen phone for someone else and was looking at the Pixel XL and an Iphone 7 Plus.  The x3 certainly didn't look out of its depth or class.  It felt heavier but for my eyes at least, I didn't mind the the trade-off for the larger screen space (5.9).   After using the 950 XL for a year or so, which at 5.7 had a bigger screen than either the Pixel XL and Iphone 7 Plus (both at 5.5), surprisingly made me less concerned about weight.  I may go against the grain, but part of the 950 XL's failure to feel high-end, was it felt too light. The Pixel XL felt like that to me.  The tipping point feature among the 3 phones was the 5.9 x3 screen.  I can appreciate why PT would not recommend the x3 for an individual, but for me, a large measure of the value I would derive from any of the 3 choices is the size and clarity of the display.  It would make little sense for me to go out of pocket for a Pixel XL or an Iphone 7 Plus, only to be missing that small but important display real estate I get with the x3.  Given that, whether I have the x3 as a BYOD or within an enterprise program, is not of any great moment.  Sure, I'd love to have access to the entire array of HP features, but we are not ready to do that right now.  In the meantime, as a W10M stand-alone, the x3 is better in almost every respect than my 950 XL.       

  3. 2 | Reply
    Lewk Alpha Member #958 - 1 month ago

    I honestly cannot see android apps running well in a pc desktop like scenario, ever. Just because there's a tonne of mobile apps doesn't mean they're good for an all purpose use case, especially in business.

  4. 1 | Reply
    scj123 Alpha Member #894 - 1 month ago

    I really do get this device and think I am the perfect audiance for this.  I work for a large enterprise which are currently issueing Windows Phones to staff, due to the secure nature of the clients I work for we have to use a company device and cannot make use of BYOD.

    I dont care about apps as its locked down and managed.  But I love it as a basic smart phone, emails, texts, camera, and occasional web browsing.

    I dont travel with work, apart from a couple of offices we have or to work from home, there is a docking station and screens both in the office and at home.  If I could carry my office with me in my pocket it would be amazing.

    But the main reason i dont care about apps on my Windows Phone is purely because I have to carry my personal phone everywhere with me, its an iPhone, and loaded with apps. But two phones to carry about instead of two phones and my laptop is a big improvement.

    I would love my company to provide me with an upgrade to an Elite x3 and Continum.

  5. 1 | Reply
    Plumbobby Alpha Member #1827 - 1 month ago

    Thanks Paul, I appreciate you taking another look at this.

    Honestly, if they just add functionality to Outlook Mobile so it can support the task functionality of full Outlook (WP8/8.1 did this through the calendar app, and unless I'm missing something I can't find it anywhere on WM10) I would have my company purchase this device with the lap dock.  I live and die by the task manager in Outlook, hopefully that changes and we move on to more sophisticated software.  But with that one addition the HP Elite X3 and lap dock would be far more useful and convenient to me than SP3 tethered running full Outlook.  Always connected, apps updated on the phone constantly, no syncing... Sigh.  I hope this can work.  I would love to pull out my phone and use it for everything, but have it be extendable.  I detest writing full emails on a phone now, need a keyboard. I could also just bring the same phone with dock, or correct cable and do a full powerpoint presentation without the need for a separate PC.

    This would solve problems for me, but more than that it would make my life more convenient in a very big way.  I don't really care about consumer apps, I know I'm in the tiny minority here. I'm really excited about the potential of Continuum and how it can improve my workflow (I'm a millenial, afterall :p).

    Just need a little more functionality on the Outlook side, as I don't see running desktop apps remotely through Workspace personally.  Please Microsoft... Please bring back support for Outlook Tasks on mobile!

  6. 1 | Reply
    mmcpher Alpha Member #245 - 1 month ago

    I saw the live stream for the Xiaomi launch of a number of new handsets, including a very striking MIX which is curved black ceramic, nearly bevel-less device that had 6.4 screen!  They had some interesting promo videos calling out to Kubrik's monoliths.  I'm not sure I like the virtual absence of a bezel, as it might present difficulties in holding and using the device, and in designing a protective case that doesn't obstruct.   But the MIX is one pretty device.  The thing was from the promotional materials, you couldn't tell at a glance what OS the thing runs.  When I searched and found a few hands-on videos, I was crestfallen to see dull old Android running on such a large and shiny device.  Not because I wanted it for W10M, or because I am hostile to Android (I have a few of them).   There is something about that OS that feels tired, and even the Iphone 7's, with their chiclets, inspires the same sort of fatigue.  What I like best about W10M is the ability to configure the homescreen and the way you can make it light up with up-to-the-minute, at-a-glance information -- about the weather, the time, the source and content of emails, News headlines, sports scores, traffic conditions, calendar appointments. . . .  Without any swiping or touching.  The "Live" part of the "Live Tiles" keeps W10M from getting stale.   

  7. 1 | Reply
    dcdevito Alpha Member #220 - 1 month ago

    Just by looking at the face of it, could it possible HP had this in their product pipeline/roadmap then decided to switch it to an enterprise focused device? It looks like a premium consumer product that's too flashy for the enterprise. And I don't think it's a bad thing, I like the look of it.

  8. 0 | Reply
    bbold Alpha Member #669 - 1 month ago

    My Elite X3 is arriving tomorrow and I'm very excited. I'll be using for a mix of work and personal use. I have been using a 950 XL the past nearly year and I love that phone, so from what I hear, this will be an even better experience. I'm very excited about the battery life and the better screen, sad about the camera not being as great, but I know as a business phone the Elite X3 didn't need to have a camera like the 950 XL - that device's camera is the best camera I have ever used - on ANY smart phone - hands down. (And YES, I also mean the iPhone.) Thanks for reconsidering the Elite X3, Paul. I think that if you look at it from a context of business and enterprise, it just makes sense. Windows Central has an interview with the project mgr (can't remember his name) but it's very insightful. I know you probably have issues with WC but it's a great interview, you should give it a listen. Also, I disagree with the assessment that this phone isn't for consumers - I think if you are a big enough W10M fan, it could be a great phone. Obviously, it's geared towards business and users should keep that in mind. The phone is also for sale by itself on Microsoft.com for $699 (without the dock.) By specs alone, it's the best W10M phone on the market. Happy Trails!

  9. 0 | Reply
    glenn8878 Alpha Member #2387 - 1 month ago

    Since the HP Elite isn't priced to lose money, there's a hopeful future for better devices and a larger audience as it gets more affordable. I'm just unclear why businesses need such a device when its not a phone. A thin laptop is sufficient especially if their employees retain an iPhone or Android. The HP Spectre seems especially enticing.

  10. 0 | Reply
    martinp17 Alpha Member #1609 - 1 month ago

    Are there any news on extensibility via sleeves which use the pogo pins? Will HP provide a credit card reader sleeve like Nordstrom uses iPods?

  11. 0 | Reply
    Markld Alpha Member #349 - 1 month ago

    I really want to thank any(2 so far) and all HP Elite x3 present owners/users for your experiences.

    I'm also looking forward to any of Paul's input...

  12. 0 | Reply
    djncanada Alpha Member #2026 - 1 month ago

    Paul, I agree with you.

    For phones, I have iPhone and Android.

    I had a Lumia 950XL, got rid of it.

    I was able to get about 50% of the apps I want and needed.

    I do see MS wanting to increase IOS and Android apps for prosumers.

    I consult to large enterprises and see all the work IT has to do for IOS and Android.

    I do not see HP investing money and resources in Elite X3 unless they see a market.

    I am a Canadian, therefore this does affect me, how will HP get over the hump that most US based multinationals use either Verizon or ATT (will Elite X3 work on Verizon CDMA voice network?).

    If this has some success, will HP make a larger version, will Bluetooth headsets, would an 8" phablet fit into breast pocket or purse and provide better screen experience for users? 

    I think HP is smart bundling data center backend to run X86 apps.

    If Oracle, SAP, Salesforce and other large enterprise apps/services run well from the browser or native app and IT can find a justification to end users to deploy, this could be a game changer.

    The price point allows for disty, resellers and HP to make some margin and offer volume discounts. They can also use HP Enterprise/CSC as a reseller. Wonder if IBM will bite and resell? If this helps cloud providers sell and move apps to cloud, why not!!

    They are smart to leave the carriers out of the picture, mobile side of carriers don't know enterprise IT

    HP has the sales force and Global 1000 connections to make this work.

    This is not the device for me, I do hope HP and Microsoft are successful in this product category

  13. 0 | Reply
    EnterMegatron99 Alpha Member #189 - 1 month ago

    I guess I'm out of the loop a bit.  I didn't see that Skype had left W10M.  Well, that's not good.  I couldn't buy another W10M device and think I wasn't throwing good money after bad.  I've been down that road before.  Don't love Android, don't want iOS...but going to have to choose.



    1. 0 | Reply
      Demileto Alpha Member #2054 - 1 month ago
      In reply to EnterMegatron99:

      Skype didn't leave W10M, it stopped supporting 8/8.1 devices, which have a combined 85% market share of Windows phone devices. That's what Paul meant by Microsoft stopping support on Windows phones that most people use.

    2. 1 | Reply
      EnterMegatron99 Alpha Member #189 - 1 month ago
      In reply to Demileto:

      Ah, yes, that I knew.  Thanks for the clarification!

    3. 1 | Reply
      SleepingPelican Alpha Member #661 - 1 month ago
      In reply to EnterMegatron99:

      Also, the W10M app is the same UWP Skype Preview app you can use on the PC and is superior than the old Skype app on WP8

  14. 0 | Reply
    toshdellapenna Alpha Member #562 - 1 month ago

    A Windows based device and accessories ecosystem like this has been my dream since I got my first non cellular handheld device in 2002, which was a dell axim running pocket pc 2002 os. I'm currently saving up to get this or whatever else like it might be available 2-3 months from now.

  15. 0 | Reply
    edboyhan Alpha Member #492 - 2 weeks ago

    It's unfortunate that Intel stopped development of a mobile SOC.  All the various continuum scenarios are quite interesting, BUT ONLY if the device contains an X86 processor -- all other approaches are just kludges that will never gain much traction.

  16. -1 | Reply
    Travelrobert Alpha Member #184 - 1 month ago

    I would love some technical insight just on how much of a technological advantage continuum is as well as the safety features of WM10.

    Are Android/iOS right behind on this, or do they have significant hurdles? Is WM10 significantly safer to an IT admin?

    1. Paul Thurrott
      1 | Reply
      Paul Thurrott Alpha Member #1 - 1 month ago
      In reply to Travelrobert:

      I'm honestly surprised that Android didn't make the cut. I'll try to find out exactly where W10M came out ahead.

    2. 1 | Reply
      bbold Alpha Member #669 - 1 month ago
      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Listen to the Windows Central interview with the HP Elite X3 Project Mgr (I could be wrong about that title, but he's the guy in charge of it.) It's a very insightful interview. The decision to use W10M came about by taking surveys of business professionals that HP does business with. The only platform that can be used in many businesses to support their IT and infrastructure (such as Police Officers and such) is W10M with Continuum. Public Safety professionals and others who need to utilize Windows on their Mobile phone is the target market - and there are plenty out there, I'm one of them.

  17. -1 | Reply
    ponsaelius Alpha Member #1328 - 1 month ago

    I think you are right. Looking at the X3 as a phone is pointless. It's only selling point is as a PC or Laptop replacement.

  18. -1 | Reply
    hrlngrv Alpha Member #100 - 1 month ago

    Picky: Windows Phone 7/8 and Windows 10 Mobile have failed as consumer phone plaforms. For workplace phone, no phone platforms have become dominant; indeed, Blackberry lost the only dominance any phone platform had with enterprises.

    Not so picky: MSFT's own promotional material for its Enterprise Mobility + Security service makes it seem MSFT believes it can manage Android devices, and IBM's MaaS360 Enterprise Mobility Management service makes similar claims. MSFT and IBM are lying through their teeth? Or could it be HP wants to sell its own services and give its Elite x3 customers no other choice?

    The description of HP's Workspace service makes it seem like HP wants to compete against VMWare and Citrix. Good luck with that, HP. As for Continuum, it's already possible to install and run some Linux distributions on some Android phones. Those Linux installs run Linux software, so more like running desktop Windows from a phone than using Continuum to transform UWP apps. Since there are ways to mount many cloud storage services under Linux, OneDrive and Continuum have no advantage already. The question is whether OneDrive and Continuum is more secure than Android + Linux + Box or DropBox or Google Drive.

    The sole advantage of the Elite x3 is the ability to use Continuum to run UWP apps in desktop mode when docked and WITHOUT any network connection. How much of a selling point is that?

  19. -2 | Reply
    adamcorbally Alpha Member #1838 - 1 month ago

    HP Envy??? isnt it a HP elite? I know you cant be bothered reviewing it but thats just lazy writing

    1. Paul Thurrott
      0 | Reply
      Paul Thurrott Alpha Member #1 - 1 month ago
      In reply to adamcorbally:

      Lazy writing. Maybe it's just HP having too many similar brands. But whatever, it's fixed.

    2. 1 | Reply
      adamcorbally Alpha Member #1838 - 1 month ago
      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Thankyou Paul! Good points in the article looking forward to your review. I think you should thurrott yourself on twitter for that headline as punishment!

    3. 1 | Reply
      Demileto Alpha Member #2054 - 1 month ago
      In reply to adamcorbally:

      Daniel Rubino and Zac Bowden already trolled Paul's slip on their twitters... :P

    4. -2 | Reply
      JeffB Alpha Member #178 - 1 month ago
      In reply to adamcorbally:

      How much does this really bother you? Move on.. 

    5. 0 | Reply
      the_zeni - 1 month ago
      In reply to JeffB:

      Why? Legit complaint. If he doesn't even bother to get the name right in a title... why even write anything at all?

    6. -2 | Reply
      adamcorbally Alpha Member #1838 - 1 month ago
      In reply to JeffB:

      It does bother me, also while we are on it spelling and grammer mistakes in articles bother me. 

    7. 0 | Reply
      bassoprofundo Alpha Member #408 - 1 month ago
      In reply to adamcorbally:

      I'm seriously hoping for your sake that what you just did there was supposed to be ironic...

    8. 0 | Reply
      adamcorbally Alpha Member #1838 - 1 month ago
    9. 0 | Reply
      bassoprofundo Alpha Member #408 - 1 month ago
      In reply to adamcorbally:

      Light as a feather here....  Gave me a good laugh :)

    10. 0 | Reply
      adamcorbally Alpha Member #1838 - 1 month ago
      In reply to bassoprofundo:

      It was intended to be funny :)

    11. 0 | Reply
      bassoprofundo Alpha Member #408 - 1 month ago
      In reply to adamcorbally:

      We're talking about the same thing, right? (i.e.- your own spelling and grammar) 

  20. -3 | Reply
    Waethorn Alpha Member #2235 - 1 month ago

    Am I the only person who doesn't see the point of this?

    1. 2 | Reply
      Travelrobert Alpha Member #184 - 1 month ago
      In reply to Waethorn:

      It's a play at a new market segment in enterprise, where this could save big bucks if it manages to replace several devices with one.

    2. Paul Thurrott
      0 | Reply
      Paul Thurrott Alpha Member #1 - 1 month ago
      In reply to Waethorn:

      I struggle with it.

       

    3. 3 | Reply
      mmcpher Alpha Member #245 - 1 month ago
      In reply to paul-thurrott:  Premium has had a good launch because you guys have a reputation and credibility for looking a little deeper and longer than just skimming at the crest of the very latest trends. If you drew a line across the top 5 devices on the AdDuplex reports and only reported on them, excluding all below the line, you might miss the next big thing.  I remember a time when the tech press laughed at the early big display smartphones, when no one would read on or need a tablet, when no one would ever use a stylus. . . . or when no one needed a camera or music player on their phone. . . . So it's a good exercise to occasionally stoop to review a lesser known device, or consider a lesser adopted platform.  Or else just fall into the shadow of the 9,000,000,000 sites gushing on about all things real and imagined about iOS or Android (now there's where I struggle to see the point of adding to an over-saturated field).  I do think there's high value in some of the content here about how Microsoft interacts with it's rivals, whether in outreach or outright competition.  Maybe that's a good distinguusing feature of Thurrott.com.   But looking at the x3 would still inform, as it provides a clue of how Microsoft would like to see its apps work on other platforms and devices.    Review the x3 as a business device, but use it as a phone and also judge it as a phone.  You obviously have an application checklist that makes Windows Mobile a dealbreaker but not everyone else does.      

       

    4. 0 | Reply
      hrlngrv Alpha Member #100 - 1 month ago

      In reply to Waethorn:

      Asking certain questions in comments for fan-only articles is just begging for down votes.