HP teases wire-free computing with Elite X2 1011 hybrid

HP's tablet-first Elite X2 1011 will be able to transfer data to a wireless display through a WiGig dock

HP Elite X2 1011 G1 (1)

HP Elite X2 1011 G1 (1)

Hewlett-Packard is taking a step to cut the cords from tablets and laptops with its Elite X2 1011 G1, which will be able to connect to displays and send print commands wirelessly.

The Elite X2 1011 G1 is first an 11.6-inch tablet, but turns into a laptop when a keyboard is attached. But the hybrid doesn't provide a truly wire-free experience -- an optional dock provides the technology for the device to wirelessly connect to peripherals.

For example, when connected to a dock, the hybrid will be able to beam images wirelessly to compatible displays without the need HDMI or DisplayPort cables. It could also provide the technology needed to shuffle data wirelessly with compatible external hard drives.

The dock was developed by HP in collaboration with Intel, which has promised to implement more of the wireless charging and data transfer features directly inside laptops through its chips. Intel's goal is to remove cord clutter, and for wireless technology to replace display, charging and data transfer cables.

For example, Intel wants laptops to charge just by being placed on a table, which could free users from continually carrying power bricks. In addition, laptops could be free of HDMI and USB 3.0 ports in the future. Intel is planning to release a prototype laptop with many wire-free features later this year when it starts talking about new chips based on the Skylake architecture.

The wireless dock is based on WiGig wireless technology, which is about seven times faster than today's latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

The Elite hybrid runs on an Intel Core M processor, and supports up to 512GB of solid-state drive storage and 8GB of DDR3 DRAM. Buyers can choose between 720p or 1080p displays. The device has a 2-megapixel front camera, 5-megapixel rear camera, USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort port and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The tablet weighs 870 grams, and the detachable keyboard adds around 750 grams.

The Elite X2 1011 will ship in late January starting at US$899.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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