Microsoft and Qualcomm have announced the first set of Always Connected PCs. These PCs are light, fast and powerful and are running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset.
Microsoft says that Always Connected PCs are the next major technology shift. These PCs from manufacturers such as Asus, HP and Lenovo can instantly be turned on, always connected to the internet (either via Wi-Fi or LTE), offer up to a week of battery life while still being able to run full Windows 10.
Some of the first Always Connected PCs that Microsoft and Qualcomm announced, include the Asus NovaGo and the HP ENVY x2.
The Asus NovaGO is the world’s first Gigabit LTE laptop and is being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE. You can get up to 22 hours of active use and 30 days of standby time.
The NovaGO has a 13.3-inch Full HD display, 2 USB 3.1 Type-A ports, 1 HDMI and a microSD card slot. The device weighs 1.39kg (around 3lbs).
The NovaGO will retail for $599 USD for the 64GB of storage and 4GB or RAM model and $799 USD for the 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM model.
The HP ENVY x2 has more of a tablet style design with a detachable keyboard. It’s also being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and weighs only 1.54lbs.
The ENVY x2 has a 12.3-inchWUXGA+ display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4, an adjustable kickstand which can go from 110 to 150-degree angles, up to 20 hours of battery life and 700 hours of standby time. It can be optioned with up to 256GB of internal storage and up to 8GB of RAM. The pen for the ENVY x2 supports Windows Ink. As for ports, it has a USB-C port, microSD, SIM slot and 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Asus NovaGO and HP ENVY x2 are running Windows 10 S but can be upgraded for free to Windows 10 Pro (before September 30th 2018). Both devices will go on sale in the US in early 2018.
There will also be an Always Connected PC coming from Lenovo in 2018. Since the PCs will be running Windows 10, you’ll be able to run a new, optimized version of Office 365 as well as Windows Hello support, touch, and pen and ink support.
Microsoft says that these Always Connected PCs will have benefits to businesses:
New culture of work: IT is always thinking about the culture of work they enable through the technology they choose: how a given device enables teams to collaborate and be productive. The Always Connected PC is a cultural shift, enabling teams to work effectively, whether they are on a corporate campus, visiting customers or on the bus commuting, freeing a real constraint on the creativity of employees today.
Better security: IT also must manage increasing security threats and is responsible for protecting an organization’s information. Security has been a huge focus for Windows 10. But there are still these public Wi-Fi hotspots out there, which every day unknowing users connect to and could put hackers in control of the data coming and going to their device, potentially enabling hackers to steal corporate data and invade user privacy. The Always Connected PC is real security progress enabling safe connectivity everywhere, bypassing untrusted networks.
Lower costs: Today IT organizations are spending millions of dollars installing, updating and maintaining Wi-Fi antennas and repeaters throughout their buildings, and upgrading those every few years to make them even faster. At the same time, mobile operators have invested billions in building fast 4G networks. The United States alone is now 98% covered by 4G. And mobile operators have now embarked on even faster 5G network build outs that will be even faster.
No pricing has been announced for any of the Always Connected PCs and no Canadian availability has been announced either.