HP Elitebook 1050 G1 (2018 pre-launch overview)
Earlier this May there was an event in New York where HP was showing off their new products. At this event they let us take a look at the HP Elitebook 1050 G1. From what we could tell this laptop that they are selling is going to be a pretty good hit on the market if the price doesn't impede on its sales because coming in at $1,899, it isn't a cheapie by any means.
This is a very special laptop because it sits in the exact same category as the Dell XPS 15 and the Asus Zenbook Pro. The reason why this category is so special is you are able to obtain a very strong performing CPU all the while maintaining a very small and portable form factor. They use the brand new 6-core CPUs from Intel. Up until now, they've been using U-series CPUs. These are great for battery life but they just don't have the power that the newer CPUs have.
OK, the Elitebook is pretty much the exact same size as the Dell XPS 15. It doesn't look as refined, but it is made out of CNC machined aluminum. That means it's a lot more durable... and it should be since it's a business laptop.
In terms of ports you're basically getting the same amount with two USB 3.0s, and instead of only having one USB-C port like with the XPS 15, you get two instead. They are all Thunderbolt 3 which means you have 4 lanes of PCIe so is whatever reason down the road you want to hook up a more powerful GPU, you have the option to do so.
Though we were not able to take it apart we do know that you have the ability to put two SSDs inside. That means you can have your main drive and pop in your second one and not have to worry about having to carry an external drive.
The sound was hard to tell. We didn't really get a chance to listen to it, but you do get forward-facing speakers that are fine-tuned by Bang & Olufsen. The crazier thing is you do get a third microphone located on the back of the device and this has two functions. The first is that it blocks out noise from your surroundings. So, if you're out in public and you need to carry on a video or voice conversation the microphone will block out any external sound that may be present. Its other role is useful in a scenario like a conference room and your associates are behind you and they're talking and you want the person on the other end to hear them, you can enable the microphone to amplify that sound and the end user can hear them clearly.
Just like the XPS, it comes with a 15" screen and you can buy it with a full-HD or 4k display. It gets pretty bright at 400 nits, but if you need something even brighter there's a 700 nit option too. That's super bright and very good for outdoors.
Some of you are going to think that the bezels are mega think, especially since we're in 2018, and they are. However, I'd rather have thicker bezels with the webcam up top than thinner and the webcam located on the bottom that only gives a ridiculous viewing angle. They are not so thick that they are unbearable to look at, but they do have some width to them.
Since they are giving you the new 6 core CPUs from Intel that have higher clock speeds than the U-series performance should be great. The only downfall is you do get a little bit less battery life. You can spec with an i5-8300H all the way up to an i7-8850H.
In terms of a GPU, you can buy it without one or you can get a GTX 1050. It would be nice to have a 1060 or at least a Ti, but when you're keeping these devices this thin you want to keep the thermals as low as possible.
So, that's our basic overview of the HP Elitebook 1050 G1, and hopefully, after a bit of real-time use, we'll be able to get back to this device and give you a thorough review.