I have the X3 and yes it blows three different directions. It can blow also front and to the right or front and to the left, etc. Obviously it has less power when two chutes are even partly opened. Blowing out the front means you can drive forward down a sidewalk or path and blow off grass, etc. That works pretty well as long as the grass hasn't been tracked over and pasted to the walk. Of course in that case it is hard to get it off period.
Blowing three ways is nice so you don't have to blow backward but if I even had a thought that I might need a leaf loader I would get the Hurricane or Brown model that can be used as that also. I do not think the X3 can be used as a loader.
I have now used the X3 for more than a few minutes. It is a pretty awesome machine. It is very powerful. Likes are power and easy to drive. Dislikes are that it is pretty loud and that you can not tell how open a chute is when on tne blower. It would be nice to have a way to tell if any of the three chutes are 1/2 open, 1/4 open, etc. Would help in knowing when you go to blow a curb that 50% open works best.
I think in certain cases it would be a huge time saver and a great addition but it is a pretty specific tool that may be hard to justify the cost for.