This past week HP announced its next generation of Elite PCs, including HP’s next generation of monitors. In the past, HP would announce its next generation of Elite devices at Computex, but this year, the COVID-19 crisis has kept in-person tech announces from happening.
Not only has the COVID-19 crisis kept us from going to tech conferences, it has also changed the way we live, work, and do business in incredible and unique ways. If around this time last year, you told me we would have over 70% of people working from home (WFH) and remote work and video conferencing are critical for business, I would have told you HP’s line of Elite devices are preparing for this lifestyle. Last year’s HP EliteBooks focused on a lighter design, better battery life, and brighter displays for outdoor use. HP’s All-in-one PCs took on the form of “mini-in-one” PCs and modular displays. HP’s lineup is already moving towards an ever-increasing remote workflow. Even later in the year, HP released the HP Butterfly- one of the lightest, if not the lightest laptops of 2019. Moving forward to this year, all focus is on remote work and WFH, and I think HP has a great cushion to start from thanks to last year’s reveal. Let’s dive into what HP announced this quarter with its Elite devices.
New HP EliteBooks and more connectivity
HP’s EliteBook 1000 Series touched on upgrading it convertible two-in-one x360 laptops, the EliteBook x360 1030 G7 and EliteBook x360 1040 G7. HP says the 13-inch and 14-inch laptops respectably have the smallest footprint business convertible laptop as well as the highest screen-to-body ratio in a business convertible laptop. Both devices come with Intel’s latest 10th Gen Core vPro U-Series processors, including HP’s Sure View display.
The new EliteBook x360 1030 G7 and 1040 G7 both have the option of 5G connectivity which shows that HP is already looking towards the future. Paired with HP’s Sure technology, HP says it is the most secure and manageable PC and the world’s first 5G capable laptop convertible. I think these are great features to have on the EliteBook 1000 Series convertibles. Security and connectivity are two critical features to allow people to comfortably work from home. HP did not say if the EliteBook x360 1030 G7 and 1040 G7 are Project Athena certified. I imagine they are close with the projected (up to 29 hour) long battery life from HP, the connectivity from the Gigabit LTE and Wi-Fi and 5G options, and 10th Gen Intel Core vPro processors. Both also come with Built-In Tile, a feature that we first saw on the HP Elite Dragonfly 2020 edition at the beginning of the year, and a feature that found valuable.
The HP EliteBook 800 Series nearly doubled this year, adding on new “805” models with AMD Ryzen 4000 Series Pro processors with Radeon graphics. I am pleased to see HP adding on an almost identical model of its 800 Series with Ryzen hardware. HP says the EliteBook 835 G7, EliteBook 845 G7, and EliteBook 855 G7 are the thinnest and lightest for a 13-inch, 14-inch, and 15-inch AMD-based mainstream business notebooks. HP also says the 805 Series has the longest battery life of any 13-inch, 14-inch, or 15-inch AMD-based mainstream business notebook. The EliteBook 835 G7 gets up to 24 hours of battery life in HP’s own testing.
Similarly, HP’s EliteBook 800 Series improves with being thinner and lighter over last year’s models. The 10th Gen Intel Core vPro processors have built-in Wi-Fi 6 for a more secure connection. The EliteBook 850 G7 also has the option to have an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card to be what HP calls the thinnest and lightest mainstream enterprise 15-inch notebook with discrete graphics.
I think HP tacked on some great features to an already versatile portfolio of WFH laptops and 2-in-1 convertibles. All the EliteBooks also come with a wide-angle camera with an 88-degree field of view and AI-based audio that minimizes background noise. I think these are great features that should be standard for all enterprise-level laptops. If it works as billed, HP may have a winner on this alone.
The last new laptops that HP announced are the ZBook Firefly and ZBook Firefly 15. HP announced the ZBooks in mid-April when it announced its new ENVY lineup. The ZBook Firefly is a welcome addition that is lighter and thinner than the other ZBooks. Both laptops feature a 10th Gen Intel Core vPro processor with NVIDIA Quadro P520 graphics. HP says it is great for collaboration and heavy tasks like AutoCAD as well as gaming. HP says the ZBook Firefly 14 is 8.8% smaller and 5.2% lighter, and the ZBook Firefly 15 is 9.5% smaller and 1.8% lighter compared to last year’s generation. The Zbook Firefly 14 and 15 also come with HP’s Sure technology and have the option for 4G gigabit LTE.
HP’s commercial desktops
HP’s EliteOne All-in-one G6 PC supports Intel’s 10th Gen Core with optional vPro and up to an NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER or an AMD Radeon 5300M graphics card. With the NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER, HP says it is the first VR capable all-in-one. It also has an always-on blue-light filter and anti-glare display. HP also is in on collaboration in partnership Zoom with an HP Collaboration All-in-one G6 with Zoom Rooms PC. Zoom is integrated into the all-in-one and features a 5MP pop-up camera and an 88-degree viewing angle. Over the recent events with Zoom, I can’t wholly recommend this device because of this feature alone.
HP also has the EliteDesk 800 G6 Series that includes a mini PC, a small form factor PC, and a tower PC. HP says the EliteDesk 800 G6 Desktop Mini PC is the world’s smallest and most powerful ultra-small form factor business PC. It has a 10th Gen Intel Core processor with optional vPro and up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. The HP EliteDesk 800 G6 Small form factor PC has a 10th Gen Intel Core vPro processor with up to an NVIDIA Quadro P620 graphics card. The HP EliteDesk 800 G6 Tower PC has a 10th Gen Intel Core processor with optional vPro and up to an NVIDIA Quadro P620 graphics card. HP says the EliteDesk 800 G6 Small form factor PC and Tower PC are the world’s highest performance and most expandable business-class PCs respectably. I think it is important to have a dedicated PC for your desk, and upgradeability is a critical factor when choosing a desktop. It can mean the difference between a five to six-year PC and a two-year device.
HP also announced its HP ProDesk 600 G6 Series and HP ProDesk 400 Series with Intel’s 10th Gen Core processors with optional vPro.
HP also announced its second generation of the HP Reverb VR headset for consumer and enterprise applications. Moor Insights and Strategy Senior Analyst Anshel Sag wrote here on the design improvements and the changes from last year’s model. I think VR is one of the many technologies whose advancement has been pushed forward thanks to the COVID-19 crisis.
Overall, HP has a versatile portfolio of commercial devices that do a great job of addressing the needs of people working from home. HP’s new EliteBooks offer the world’s first 5G capable convertibles as well as the option for AMD 4000 Series Pro processors in the EliteBook 800 Series. HP’s desktop portfolio provides great specs with upgradeability. Across the board, HP did a great job of offering commercial PC devices with minimal WFH compromises.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Anshel Sag and co-op Jacob Freyman contributed to this article.