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HTC ONE X as a computer replacement

By Sami Mughal

So my laptop screen was playing silly buggers, and I had just acquired a new HTC ONE X, so I thought, lets play an experiment.  I handed my laptop to a friend/colleague of mine who specializes in such, and decided to use the phone as a direct replacement for the phone. I gave the test about 2 weeks, and did my usual evening use of computer on it. 

Can the One X replace your computer? One simple answer: NO! But it does come pretty close to being one. There are certain limitations, of course, but a lot of them can be worked around, or ignored. 

Browsing is brilliant on the phone. I viewed most websites in the ‘View Desktop Site’ mode, which opens up a PC version of the website. This, in landscape mode, combined with the screen size, means that you can browse most websites without having to zoom in. 

I found watching videos works very well on the phone. Most services either have a mobile version, or an app, and if the above two do not exist, just use the browser in ‘ View Desktop Site’, and then hit full screen. The brilliant screen of the phone means that the viewing experience is awesome. 

I also used it to watch some live cricket streams the other day, which is where I was really impressed! Those things struggle on computers! 

Blogging was quite horrific on the phone though. The Blogger compose page struggles if you want to add photos, because of the pop up that appears. In fact, I found that most websites that have a pop up tend to struggle. The Blogger app, sadly, is not up to the mark either. 

Writing emails works perfectly, and I have both a Hotmail and Gmail account set up in this. I have used a few keyboards, but there are plenty available on Android, so typing itself is not really an issue. The apps themselves deal with it quite well. 

Twitter, of course, is brilliant, as it is on most mobile devices. My app of preference has been TweetCaster, mainly because I got used to it when I had my Galaxy S. 

Facebook app works a lot better in this phone than the last one. However, I do not use it that much, so I am not a good test of the app. There is always the Facebook website. 

If you use reader services, Google Reader app works brilliantly, and does not require any other apps. 

There are things such as document editing and such. It is once again possible, but not brilliant. I do not have any good apps for it though, so not sure if the performance can be improved. 

Then there are things, which you just won’t expect your mobile to do, like download torrents for example, or download files using the iPlayer PC client, or playing PC games. These things, of course, do not work.

However, after a week of living without a computer, and using just this as a device, I think it is definitely do-able, though a bit awkward! 

Are there any applications or things you’d like me to try though? Do give me a shout! 

Addition (14/05/12):
After TranceDogg’s suggestion, I have noticed https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zpwebsites.ubuntuinstall exists on the Android market. While I have not tried it, does anybody have experience of running it? Will it run without root?

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