Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

HP, Lenovo takes Windows, AI to go with Snapdragon, CoPilot+

Windows laptops could get a lot more interesting, as HP and Lenovo kick off what we can expect from thin and like PCs with AI smarts.

Six months since Intel defined what an AI PC is, we’ve already seen a few, and they’re beginning to make an impact.

Direct access to an AI with the CoPilot key. Two chip makers supporting artificial intelligence technology on-device as opposed to only in the cloud, with AMD supporting the technology alongside Intel’s announcement, too. More AI is coming because of this, and while the future for on-device AI in computers isn’t totally clear yet, it exists on the Mac sides of things, too, so you won’t be able to escape it.

In the world of PCs, there’s also more happening outside of Intel and AMD, where there is admittedly more than you may expect.

This week at a launch of what’s coming from Windows, a few of the world’s biggest PC makers showed what’s on the way, as Qualcomm threw its chip tech normally seen in Android phones over to modern Windows PCs, showcasing what we can expect. The answer is thin, light, and ready to take AI to go.

Snapdragon in a PC

It’s not an entirely new thing, but Qualcomm’s mobile chip is coming to more PCs. Mobile chips for a Windows laptop aren’t entirely new — Samsung has offered something similar before, and we’re fairly sure both Microsoft and Nokia have tried mobile chips in Windows PCs, too — but we’re in a new age of AI-ready PCs, so round two may mean something more.

Qualcomm actually hinted at this last year with the launch of the Snapdragon X Elite chip, so we knew it was coming. It was more of a question of “when” and what those efforts would look like.

We’re now beginning to paint both pictures, and the result appears great for folks who want thin and light computers with more choice, and potentially “multi-day battery life”, something which can be a bit of a rarity in the Windows world.

The chip includes AI-onboard with support for up to 45 trillion operation per second, all while managing to slim down the hardware somewhat, which essentially increases space for other components including the battery. That’s all while keeping graphics, sound, and wireless connections as part of the package, because new systems clearly can’t be made to be lazy.

Windows Copilot+ is here… so what does the plus mean?

That chip is just one part of the package, as Windows adds a new dimension to its Copilot feature beyond the Copilot key.

“CoPilot+” as its being introduced aims to connect AI across your PC beyond simply asking it questions or having it write some copy for you. Rather, the plus seems to suggest having AI in Windows do more than what Copilot has become known for.

For instance, they’ll now support live captions with translation that can convert videos in real-time, while Microsoft’s Windows Paint app is being updated to let you use AI to make images with words and paint strokes, creating better results than what the normal Windows Paint efforts look like.

Microsoft also supports a feature called “Recall”, which will use AI to look through your computer, using as combination of text and visual information to find things. Like Windows’ search command, but with the power of AI.

The maker of Windows also notes that some apps are already using Neural Processing Units in chips (NPUs) to bolster AI in apps, such as with visual effects in the Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve Studio video editing solution, as well as ByteDance’s CapCut for video editing in TikTok and the like with background removal.

HP and Lenovo first with Aussie releases

So what’s in store for buyers of new PCs? A few models are on the way, with thin and light laptop in sight for the Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite chips.

First up, we expect we’ll see a few more of these story write-ups in the coming days, but HP and Lenovo chimed in with Australia-relevant news before anyone else, so they’re getting the first runs here.

HP is first, partially because it got in first, but also because alphabetical counts for something, too.

For HP, there will be two AI PCs, with one for consumers and the other for business, each offering similar tech in slightly different packages with varying price points.

HP's Snapdragon X Elite AI PCs

In the consumer section, HP is reviving its “OmniBook” brand for the HP OmniBook X AI PC, launching that as the AI PC with Snapdragon inside, while the business will see the EliteBook branding used as “EliteBook Ultra AI PC”. Everything AI, and much of it quite similar.

Both are made to include fast chips — the same Snapdragon X Elite chips, actually — with big batteries supporting up to 22 hours of video streaming on Netflix, WiFi 7, and graphical enhancements helped by AI in the web cam, too.

The laptops will also see 50 percent recycled aluminium used in the construction, 14 inch screens, and a rough weight of around 1.35kg for folks counting the grams.

Next up is Lenovo, which will offer two Snapdragon X Elite laptops, as well, covering consumers and businesses alike.

In the former, Lenovo’s Yoga Slim 7x is a bit of an alternative take on this year’s MacBook Air, bringing a slightly bigger 14.5 inch 3K OLED touchscreen together with four speakers, up to 32GB RAM, up to 1TB SSD, USB-C, WiFi 7, Bluetooth, and a starting weight of 1.28kg in a laptop 12.9mm thin.

Lenovo calls this one for creators, with a sizeable battery inside, and one slightly bigger than Lenovo’s “pro” Snapdragon computer.

Built more for business, the ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 uses a 14 inch screen with OLED and IPS options, but with up to 64GB RAM, both USB-C and old-school USB-a ports, plus WiFi 7, Bluetooth, a starting weight og 1.24kg, and support for 5G in the laptop directly, expected to arrive later in the year.

Like its Yoga Slim 7x sibling (and the aforementioned HP models), it supports AI-onboard, though what that means specifically will come down to users.

Pricing for some of these is available, too, with the Slim 7x expected from $2499 locally in the coming months, likely in June or July, while the ThinkPad T14s has no pricing yet, but should be along soon.

Meanwhile HP’s OmniBook X AI PC will start at $2699 in Australia, with shipping mid-June. The EliteBook Ultra is also shipping in June, but HP has yet to confirm local pricing on that lappy.

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