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CES 2018 Day One: ABC | Always Be Connected

by Eric Smith | Jan 09, 2018

The Windows ecosystem is getting key upgrades this year thanks to some serious technology commitments from Qualcomm, Intel, and Microsoft. These advancements include running Windows on an ARM processor, adding eSIM reprovisioning to the Windows OS, integrated LTE modems on PCs and 2-in-1s with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, and Intel’s new XMM modem module. OEMs have taken these building blocks and are showing off a slew of 2-in-1s at CES.

Qualcomm leading the way
We got a full briefing today about all of Qualcomm’s goals for the next several years and mobile compute was one of those areas it sees big opportunity. By making PCs and 2-in-1s “act more like smartphones” through long battery life, negligible boot time, and cellular connectivity, Qualcomm believes that it can bring the mobile experience to laptops and 2-in-1s.


While there are more announcements to be made on these types of devices (Qualcomm tipped Lenovo’s announcement for tomorrow), HP’s 2-in-1 launch is the only one we can currently address publicly.

HP Envy x2 (Intel version)
Following on HP’s announcement of a Qualcomm-powered 2-in-1 Tablet with the same name, a version with Intel Core processors (and optional modem modules) has made its way to Vegas. It claims 17 hours of battery life under normal conditions, includes a keyboard and pen out of the box, provides cellular connectivity (optional) through a traditional SIM slot, and has a beautiful thin bezel WUXGA+ 12.3-inch display (see our latest report on resolution trends).

Envyx2

Billing these as “Always” Connected devices may be problematic given how uneven cellular coverage can be sometimes, but the point here is that tablets and PCs need not be constrained only by the availability of Wi-Fi networks which are often insecure, slow, and congested. We will be back with more commentary throughout the show in the SA blogs, on Twitter (https://twitter.com/esmith_sa/lists/strategy-analytics), and with a follow-up report for clients. Get in touch (esmith@strategyanalytics.com) if you want access to the final report or to explore these issues in more depth.
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