HP embraces Qualcomm for its halo business laptop as industry prepares for third force — but mysterious Windows 11 64 NextGen Premium may well be key to the success of WoA circa 2024

EliteBoook Ultra G1q
(Image credit: HP)

HP has timidly jumped on the Qualcomm AI PC bandwagon with two new products, one of which is likely to be the brand’s halo product for the nascent platform, focusing on enterprise users. 

The EliteBook Ultra G1q is pitched as a Next-Gen AI PC business laptop and is powered by Microsoft’s Windows 11 Pro 64 NextGen Premium (a home version is also available). 

This looks like a new version of Windows and we will have to wait for later to see what the new platform looks like.

EliteBook Ultra G1q

Like other models from rival brands, the EliteBook Ultra G1q is a business laptop is a premium product that aims at the top tier of the market.

It is light (about 1.35kg) and compact (313 x 224 x up to 14.4mm) with a 12-core Snapdragon X Elite system-on-chip (with a GPU and up to 45 TOPS NPU). Its compact form factor means that it offers only onboard memory (a rather disappointing 16GB LPDDR5x RAM) while its internal storage can be upgraded to a 1TB model.

Other key features include a 2.2K 14-inch display (non-touch) with a backlit keyboard (non-spillproof), MIL-STD-810G certified, Wi-Fi 7 connectivity, and a 59WHr battery that can be charged to 50% in 30 minutes using the 65W adapter.

One of the strong selling points of the Qualcomm platform is its long battery life and HP says that it will last up to 26 hours or roughly three whole working days. The documentation provided to TechRadar Pro shows that the Snapdragon-based EliteBook should be able to stream up to 12 hours of Microsoft Teams calls.

Qualcomm set to shine

There’s only two speakers for audio but you do get a 5-megapixel IR camera that supports Windows Hello. We were also surprised not to see any 5G WWAN connectivity options or a microSD card slot (the laptop has three USB ports). 

HP also highlighted the sustainability credentials of the Ultra G1q: it uses 50% recycled aluminum for key parts, 50% recycled plastic for keypads, and recyclable packaging.

The HP EliteBook Ultra AI PC is available on pre-order for just under $1,700 with shipping in June 2024, with a standard three-year warranty and a free one-year subscription to HP’s exclusive Wolf Pro next-generation antivirus security package.

The arrival of Qualcomm on the market with Arm-based products that aim to challenge the hegemony of Intel and AMD is good news for competition. However, the success of this platform will hinge on how well legacy (and often niche x86) products used within enterprises and businesses globally perform on Windows-on-Arm (WoA).

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Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.