Will you buy one of the first 'Always-Connected PCs?' (poll)

In December, Microsoft and Qualcomm unveiled the first two PCs in what will be its latest device category, the "Always Connected PC" family, or a group of PCs that are expected to run full Windows 10 on Snapdragon ARM processors, feature "instant-on" functionality, and pack next-generation battery life.

At the time, the companies simply announced HP's Envy x2 and ASUS's NovaGo, without providing too much detail. But shortly after the big announcement, we went hands-on with the Envy x2 and the NovaGo, which won't come cheap, with a starting price of $999 for the Envy x2 and $599 for the NovaGo.

I'm super excited about the potential of the device category, but I'm also realistic, and I know the first devices will likely be a bit … rough around the edges. However, some of us on the Windows Central team plan to pick up one (or both devices) anyway. I expect to order the HP Envy x2 just as soon as it's available for preorder again because I want to see what all the fuss is about as soon as possible. I'm curious to see just how well it performs. And I just like new toys.

What about you? What do you think of the first Always-Connected PCs? Do you plan to buy one? And if so, which one, and why? Vote in our poll below and then sound off with specifics in the comments

Al Sacco is content director of Future PLC's Mobile Technology Vertical, which includes AndroidCentral.com, iMore.com and WindowsCentral.com. He is a veteran reporter, writer, reviewer and editor who has professionally covered and evaluated IT and mobile technology, and countless associated gadgets and accessories, for more than a decade. You can keep up with Al on Twitter and Instagram.

50 Comments
  • I voted maybe but, TBH I expect the reviews won't cause me to buy one even though I liked the Surface 2 and used it heavilly.  I believe the ads and overhead of web tracking will make even Native browsing with Edge too slow to be tolerated by me. 
  • Native browsing is very snappy on these devices. With emulated browing with Chrome it is somewhat slower when you switch fast between the open tabs. I assume it has to do with the Dynarec have to recompile parts of the code when switching tabs - still very impressive when you think about that an ARM processor does not understand a single x86 instruction :)
  • Have you used one?
  • Yes i did and there was certainly a difference in using Edge or Chrome. But since i do not use any Google product this does not bother me at all.
  • First reviews are out. Doesn't sound good. You basically need to keep it locked to the store. They are too slow for legacy programs.
  • Nope not at all. Win32 ARM64 bit programms are fully supported by both the device and the SDK. No need to keep it locked to the store. And since Microsoft implemented a dual-WoW system (for x86 32 bit and ARM 32 bit programs) you can sideload 32bit ARM programs too. And you never know, sometimes you just might need to run a x86 32 bit app on occasion.
  • The people have spoken. Basically 61% no, 19% yes, 19% maybe. That should be alarming.
  • That is to be expected when the thought of another cost just to use it comes into play.  I won't bother because tethering is simple and works for me.  But I can see business users jump all over this.  But as a regular consumer it doesn't interest me.  Again, for work I'm there because it would not be my cost.  But for home, I'm already paying for my data regardless if I tether or not so it's not cost effective for me.
  • Value is expressed from the point of view of the customer, not the vendor, not editorials.  If customers don't believe these devices bring something of value to their world that they don't already feel is present, then they're not likely to spend money on it right now.  For some, of course, there may be capabilites of these devices that they really need.  But, I'd guess from the poll, most feel we already have the capabilities the always-connected devices boast, and all without spending any more money.  I know that's my case.  I'd be more inclinded to consider one of these devices after my current devices stop functioning and my cell carrier decides to not jack my costs up to add another line.  And, at least for now, I remain unconvinced that performance of WOA is acceptable compare to what I'm used to with the Surface Pro.
  • I'm a lead programmer and I was talking to my superior the other day and he also agrees that ARM'll be popular in business division.
    Intel == heavy lifting jobs.
    ARM == most people's daily drive. We've 4k+ employees in just Japan office.
  • It's an incremental advance that the majority of people don't need. Why would that be alarming or surprising?
  • Close to 20% willing to buy an always connected PC right away should be totally alarming to Intel and AMD. Why do you think it is not? If it would be closer to 1-2% i guess Intel could keep sleeping well, but anything above 5% should be very alarming.
  • Thats 20% from a fan boy site...not general public...HUGE difference.
  • I agree with jlangner. This is a Windows site. I would of expected the numbers to be reversed.
  • Twenty percent on a site whose comments are mainly populated by trolls and people who don't understand tech, seems pretty good for a new product group.
  • Think what you want. Your entitled to your opinion if that's what you want to believe. On Apple and Android sites it would still be reversed even with trolls.
  • I feel that this category of always connected Windows are for high income families, the Asus will cost $600 for 64GB of storage, I mean that's not for me, I need at least 500GB and I just bought an Asus 2 in 1 device last weekend which supports Microsoft Ink (Asus Pen), it's faster than a Surface 3, has 8 hours of battery life and has 500GB storage drive, I paid $500 for this Asus Vivobook Flip 12 and I'm very satisfied of what Microsoft has done with Windows 10 on 2 in 1 in 2018
  • No it shouldn't, I voted not yet, but not because I'm not interested in the devices. It's because I'd rather hold off until I get the form factor and features I want. For most peiple it isn't worth going out and getting a new machine, but those looking for a new machine would definitely consider it. 
  • I am waiting on the foldable/pocketbale whatever they call it deal. I will buy one of those if they ever stop teasing and put one out. (Oh and it has some sort of telephony.)
  • Likewise. Looking for a device that can make calls as well. Otherwise I'll just stick with my SP4.
  • Exactly. When that happens my Android is done. I'll get a skype number and everything. Doesn't even have to be the surface foldable, just something that fits in my pocket. 
  • Yes, I plan on grabbing one of those Andromeda devices on release (unless pre-release reviews of the version 1.0 device are really bad). But not really interested in an always connected PC to replace my relatively new HP Spectre x360 15". Also, LTE availability is not that great where I live, so the usability of this kind of machine is reduced for me, just based on where I live (rural NH).
  • Just bought a proper 2 in 1 PC with built in LTE, apart from battery life these devices have no appeal to me. So that would be a no.
  • Once the prices go down. The Asus NovaGo looks nice.
  • My answer isn't there, so I didn't vote. No, not interested in a new computer at this time. I like these new devices, would be interested in the HP if I was in the market, but other ways to spend the money.
  • I would if it had oled display.
  • Only when a manufacturer has the balls to make a sleek premium 8" WoA tablet.
  • 7-8" tablet first device with pen and removable keyboard cover.  8gb of ram, 128gb of storage.  I'll pay $1000 without a second thought (without the accessories), but it would be difficult to talk myself into paying more. Not interested in the Yoga style form factor, but would love the Pixel C form factor.
  • For my use, 8" devices are to small to be useful compare to a tablet, and too large to be as convenient as a smartphone.  Optimal smartphone size for me maxes out at 5.2 (one handed use is important to me).  And, for tablets, even a 10" is pushing the lower boundary...it's just functional enough.
  • Windows tablets do not sell. At all. They have like .3% of the tablet market. It is unlikely a small tablet will be released.
  • Just take my money :)  I did vote yes apparently - since long i am looking for such a device - it is supposed to replace my iPad. The really ugly thing is, that the HP Envy X2, which i am looking for, is out of stock and only available like 2 days a week for the last 3 weeks.
  • First reviews aren't looking pretty. Sounds unusable. Rough around the edges is an understatement.
  • No, I wouldn't...Because I know its storage (most likely UFS) will be a bottleneck for performance....
    I really like to see Intel Optane 800P storage in Microsoft products...if not possible in ACPCs, in upcoming Surface Andro...
  • If it's already included in a new Surface Pro then I guess I will, but there's no point in going out of my way to get one.  My guess is that it's just going to be an included feature in all new mobile PCs.
  • Yes I would buy one. It would be my Intel Atom tablet alternative. But holding out for a while to see reviews.
  • Most likely as a road warrior device
  • Nope. I don't trust Microsoft to support anything even tangentially connected to mobile for the long term.
  • @jasongw, it's just a Windows PC with LTE running on ARM. Even if they drop the whole program next week, how would that hurt users? It's not like a Windows Phone where lack of committment to continuing to sell it means no development -- it's runs 32-bit Windows programs. It's a long batter life, always connected PC. And while MS has a terrible track record at sticking with new products from a production and marketing perspective, they have an excellent record of honoring their product roadmap for support. That is, they will continue to patch and provide tech support for the projected life of the OS, so I don't see any risk of abandonment at all (not that they won't, but that it wouldn't matter even if they were to drop it from their active OS list).
  • No, but it needs to become a standard.
  • The only laptops I'm interested in buying would be those that can run my Lenovo mixed reality headset.  I'll pass on laptops on ARM until I see where it goes.  But I'll be all over surface phone/tablet like white on rice even if it can't run my headset.
  • My HP Touchpad 32gb is for many years connected!
  • The HP seems like the perfect PC if it was not for the price tag. I am still awaiting the pricing for Lenovo's Miix 630. From my impressions, it doesn't appear to be as premium-looking as the Envy x2 so I hope it starts at about the same price point as the Nova Go. But if it's a 2-in-1 designed to go head to head with the Surface Pro series, how likely could they price it that cheap?
  • All of my PCs are already "always connected", and have been so since dial-up internet access ended.  
  • I would buy it if it featured an AMD K12 high performance ARM processor
  • One day, I would like to replace my Surface 3 with ACPC. But for now, I would like to see the category mature. Well, it'll come to Thailand only when it's mature anyway. So, no for now. Interested for the future.
  • It makes for some tough reading because I really wanted these machines to rock from day one, but honestly, the reviews are somewhere between ok'ish to virtually unusable. Just like the Surface Pro, it's probably a case of waiting a couple of years for the platform to mature 
  • I voted for No, I don't see the value right now simply because they will be extremely expensive to start with and I'm not in the market for a new device. When I need to replace my SP4 then I will look at an ACPC but until then my SP4 and my desktop are good enough for me.
  • No right now. But interested in gen 2 or 3. Everyone is talking about the "Always connected" feature. I'm more interested in battery life improvements.
  • They don't sound that great. 11-12 hours according to early reviews. Not much better than full Windows laptops.
  • Not right now, but probably will buy a 2 in 1 with a pen for college, being able to use a tablet to write answers for questions while being able to use a pen to take notes like in a notebook and not having to worry about battery live will help with my studies greatly.