HP and ASUS unveil Snapdragon-powered laptops

Shara Tibken  CNET

Today during Qualcomm's Tech Summit keynote, Microsoft and Qualcomm unveiled the first Always Connected PCs powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processors. The Envy X2 is very similar to numerous Surface Pro types of computers that already exist, while the NovaGo feels just like any other budget to midrange laptop.

The Snapdragon 845 is (wait for it!) a direct successor to the Snapdragon 835, which can be found lingering inside devices like the Galaxy S9, Galaxy Note 8, Pixel 2, and Moto Z2 Force. These type of PCs, such as the ones from HP and ASUS are running Windows 10 on ARM, and they can deliver all-day battery life, better security, and much more.

The Snapdragon 845 will likely feature in the big phones of 2018, but as of yet we're not exactly sure what's new. The 12.3-in screen is the same size as the current Surface Pro, but the HP option will have a more traditional 16:9 screen aspect ratio. No UK prices were announced at the conference but a United States price of $599 for the model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and $799 for the model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB look very reasonable indeed.

The new Envy x2 is nearly unrecognizable compared with its brushed-aluminum ancestor, which featured all-day battery life but a painfully slow Intel Atom processor when it debuted in 2013. Always connected to a battery supporting 30 days of standby and 22 hours of active use. "OEMs around the world will now be able to combine the recently announced AMD Ryzen mobile processors with Qualcomm Technologies' leading wireless solutions via their Snapdragon LTE modem family to achieve new levels of performance, connectivity and capability for ultrathin notebook PCs".

Yes Xiaomi really really likes Qualcomm.                  Shara Tibken  CNET
Yes Xiaomi really really likes Qualcomm. Shara Tibken CNET

Connectivity is next up and a necessary upgrade to make a laptop more like a smartphone. Both devices will ship with Windows 10S, but ASUS and HP are offering free upgrades to Windows 10 Pro before September 30, 2018.

An entry-level spec will get you 4GB of RAM and 64GB of UFS 2.0 storage.

Windows 10 on ARM is a reboot of Microsoft's earlier attempts to marry mobile processors with full laptop experiences.

HP didn't provide any pricing information for the Envy x2, but it did say that customers can expect to buy it next spring.