'Always Connected PCs' to help blur line between computers and phones

Posted January 16, 2018 2:50 p.m. EST

AUSTIN, Texas -- Have you ever wished your laptop was connected automatically online all the time instead of requiring you to seek a Wi-Fi hotspot whenever you're traveling or trying to get work done at a coffee shop?

Two tech titans, Microsoft and Qualcomm, are hoping to usher in an era where your smartphone and your work laptop both have the same kind of LTE-network connectivity with what they're calling "Always Connected PCs."

The concept was unveiled about a year ago, but in December, Microsoft began showing off some products using the technology and, at last week's Consumer Electronics Show, announced more wireless carriers globally who will provide the internet service for these systems, including Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon in the United States.

Laptops with LTE technology built-in are nothing new; Dell, for instance, has had them for years. But this initiative feels like a broader standard with a lot more partners involved.

The laptops, which run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon ARM processors and run a version of Windows 10, can have a battery life of up to 20 hours, turn on instantly and are always using the same network, which increases internet security, according to Microsoft.

Prices will vary, but one model unveiled at CES last week from Lenovo costs about $799, says the tech site CNET.

Omar L. Gallaga writes for the Austin American-Statesman. Email: ogallaga(at)

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