HP unveils its Windows on ARM tablet, the Envy x2

Today at a Qualcomm event in Hawaii, HP announced its first Windows on ARM PC, the Envy x2. The news comes almost exactly a year after Microsoft and Qualcomm announced intentions to bring full Windows 10 support - including Win32 apps - to ARM processors. Windows on ARM PCs are also part of a broader always-connected PC initiative; these devices include cellular modems, but can have an Intel or a Qualcomm processor.

And not only is this HP's first Windows on ARM device, it's one of the first to be announced at all. As was promised, these new PCs use the Snapdragon 835 chipset, which includes the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, so it should be able to handle gigabit speeds if your cellular network can handle it.

The Envy x2 is a tablet with a detachable keyboard, as you'd expect from an HP product called 'x2'. It comes in at just 6.9mm thin and 1.54 pounds, and it gets up to 20 hours of battery life, all of which are benefits of using an ARM processor. Of course, it's unclear how that battery life will be affected by using Win32 apps, rather than UWP apps that are compiled for native ARM. It also comes with up to 8GB LPDDR4X PoP, along with up to 256GB of onboard storage.

The device runs Windows 10 S out of the box, meaning that it can only run apps that come from the Store. This might remind you of Windows RT - Microsoft's last attempt to run Windows on ARM processors - but a key difference is that you can easily upgrade the Envy x2 to Windows 10 Pro. Users will have a one-time option to upgrade for free.

The HP Envy x2 is slated to launch next spring, and the firm will announce pricing and carrier options as we get closer to general availability.

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