HP's refreshed EliteBooks and Elite x2 get meaty CPUs and bright displays


HP just yesterday announced a top-to-bottom refresh of its Envy and Elite series premium machines, including laptops, desktops, and AIO machines. We'll be looking at some of the Envy hardware later today, but for now let's take a peek at the new EliteBooks. The EliteBook 1050 G1, EliteBook x360 1030 G3, and Elite x2 1013 G3 are all-new premium portable PCs packing Intel's latest processors into sleek silver chassis.

Starting from the smallest machine, the Elite x2 1013 G3 is a detachable 2-in-1 laptop. It can be configured with CPUs as fast as the Core i7-8650U, and it comes standard with 16 GB of LPDDR3 memory running at 2133 MT/s. HP notes that while the memory is soldered-down, it is at least wired up in a dual-channel configuration. Almost all of the storage options on the Elite x2 1013 G3 are NVMe SSDs with capacities ranging from 128 GB to 1 TB. HP also includes self-encrypting drive options and a FIPS-compliant SATA model.

The Elite x2 1013 G3's 13" IPS display comes in models with 1920x1080 or 3000x2000 resolution. Either screen can reproduce 100% of the sRGB color space, but the lower-resolution display can shine at 700 cd/m² (bright enough to read in direct sunlight), and the higher-res version can make pixels as bright as 400 cd/m². The screens are naturally touch-capable, and the system will alert the user if they leave the optional active stylus behind. 

Besides the usual 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, buyers can also configure the convertible with an LTE modem, as it has a nano-SIM slot for just such a setup. The rest of the external connectivity comprises two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, a single USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C connector for charging with DisplayPort Alternate Mode support, plus a headphone-and-microphone combo jack. HP says the Elite x2's 50-Wh battery could last as long as 10.5 hours.

The specs on the EliteBook x360 1030 G3 are pretty similar to those of the x2. This machine isn't available with Core i3 CPUs, but you have your pick of eighth-generation ULV Core i5 and i7 chips. The Core i7-8650U is once again the top option. The same memory configuration carries over from the Elite x2, and the storage options are more or less the same save for the addition of 2-TB SSD to the menu.

The EliteBook x360's 13.3" display has a few more options than its sibling. The finest among them is surely the 3840x2160-resolution IPS panel swathed in Gorilla Glass. If you don't need that kind of resolution, you can instead take a 1920x1080-resolution IPS display with or without HP's Sure View integrated privacy screen. Regardless of your choice, you can have the lower-resolution screen with or without an anti-glare coating.

Like the Elite x2 above, the EliteBook x360 can be had with an LTE modem in addition to the standard Wi-Fi adapter. Furthermore, it can be found with an NFC transceiver. It has the same dual-Thunderbolt-plus-USB-charging port setup, although it also adds on a full-sized HDMI 1.4 connection that should find some use in conference rooms. As noted earlier, HP says the EliteBook x360 1030 G3's 56.2-Wh battery can last an impressive 18 hours.

Meanwhile, the EliteBook 1050 G1 is significantly more configurable than the other two machines given that it's a regular laptop and not a convertible. It takes H-series mobile CPUs, and the options top out with the powerful six-core Core i7-8850H. The EliteBook 1050's RAM goes in two SO-DIMM slots that can accept up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory running at 2666 MT/s. HP notes that the 1050 G1 supports dual-SSD RAID configurations with SATA drives up to 512 GB or NVMe drives up to 2 TB.

The EliteBook 1050 G1 has three options for its 15.6" display: a 3840x2160-resolution IPS LCD, a daylight-readable (650 cd/m²) 1920x1080 IPS LCD with a privacy screen, or a more basic 400 cd/m² 1920x1080 LCD. All three displays come with anti-glare coating as standard. The screen is powered by a GeForce GTX 1050 with 4 GB of its own GDDR5 memory. HP claims that the presence of the discrete graphics is a first in this class of business laptop.

External connectivity on the EliteBook 1050 G1 is similar to the other two machines. A pair of USB Type-C Thunderbolt ports are still the stars of the show, but you also get a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports. The full-size HDMI port comes along, as does the audio combo jack. An SD card reader serves as a sort of modern floppy drive. Buyers can pick between 64-Wh and 96-Wh batteries, and HP says the EliteBook 1050 G1 can run for up to 16 hours on battery power.

Folks looking for a new work laptop should keep an eye out. The two convertibles should appear in June. HP says the Elite x2 1013 G2 detachable will start at $1499, while the folding EliteBook x360 1030 G3 will set buyers back at least $1449. The EliteBook 1050 G1 is slated to show up later this month starting at $1899.

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