HP recently unveiled a number of new products in this year’s line-up, but one of the more intruiging laptops has been the first of a new generation of premium business/multimedia laptops dubbed the EliteBook 1050 G1 (in HP’s nonmenclature, the “G” is for generation).
With its silver chassis and black accents, the EliteBook 1050 G1 looks like your typical higher-end 15.6-inch business notebook at first glance. It is 18.9 mm thin, weighs 4.54 lbs, and has an angular and sleek machined-aluminum chassis, but its bezels (and overall looks) are not quite as sharp as the XPS 15’s. However, the 1050 G1 has a few (not so) hidden talents.
First up, the EliteBook 1050 is configurable with up to Coffee Lake Core i7-8850 hexa-core CPUs and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050. Those might not match up to the i9 and GTX 1050Ti Max-Q that Dell allows the XPS 15 9570 to be configured with, but it’s extremely doubtful that either component will be able to run at its maximum-rated speed for long in the XPS 15. Practically speaking, the EliteBook 1050 will likely match the XPS 15 in CPU performance and trail it by around 15% in graphics performance.
What makes the EliteBook unique, however, are its screen and storage options. HP has FHD and UHD screens just like the XPS 15, but they go the extra mile with a couple additional features. The laptop is configurable with HP’s own SureView technology, which limits horizontal viewing angles to keep your information private, a hardware shutter for the webcam, and support for facial recognition. Additionally, HP says the UHD screen reaches a blistering 650 nits of brightness — likely the brightest screen ever put in a laptop. Lastly, the EliteBook 1050 has two m.2 NVMe bays, which allows for RAID storage, whereas the XPS 15 only has one m.2 bay and requires the pint-size 57 Wh battery if the 2.5″ bay is desired.
Other features rounding the package include two SO-DIMM slots for up to 32GB of RAM and a fair selection of ports, including two TB3, two USB Type-A, a full-size SD card reader, and HDMI 2.0.
The EliteBook 1050 G1 is not cheap, however, and is expected to go on sale later this month for US$1900 and up. If you’re looking for an alternative to the XPS 15 with more business-friendly features such as a proper webcam and more security options, the EliteBook 1050 G1 looks like it could be something to keep in mind. Just try to get your company to pay for it instead.