Asus NovaGo hands-on

Key Features

  • 13.3-inch display
  • eSIM and nano-SIM
  • Snapdragon 835
  • 4/8GB RAM
  • 64/256GB storage
  • 22 hours' video playback
  • Windows Ink, Hello, Cortana
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Asus NovaGo hands-on: the endurance champion?

Out of the two Snapdragon 835 powered laptops unveiled at Qualcomm’s Tech Summit, the Asus NovaGo certainly feels like the more mid-range option.

It lacks the slick design and detachable keyboard of the HP Envy x2, but its battery life could still prove to be the killer feature.

That battery life stands at 22 hours, according to Asus, which is all down to the use of the Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform – the same processor powering all 2017’s flagship Android smartphones.

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I’ll have to spend far longer with the Asus NovaGo to see if battery life can actually live up to those claims. But if it does then this laptop could be the perfect choice for those who want to travel light, without the charger in tow.

Battery life isn’t the only benefit of switching to a Snapdragon 835, however. The Asus NovaGo also offers support for Gigabit LTE, thanks to the X16 modem for seamless switching between Wi-Fi and mobile networks. During the announcement, Microsoft and Qualcomm really talked up the NovaGo as the perfect use-everywhere device.

The laptop itself isn’t radically different to the typical Windows 10 machine you’ll find on shelves today. It has a bright 13.3-inch display, 4/8GB of RAM and 64/256GB UFS 2.0 storage. The touchscreen can be folded over and the device used as a tablet, which makes the inclusion of a stylus a nice touch.

It’s a safe design – although slightly plasticky – that sits firmly within its $599 price point. The $599 version comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage; $200 more gets you double the RAM and 256GB storage.

On the side of the device sit two USB ports sit – there’s no USB-C here – along with a SIM slot that will support both nano-SIMs and eSIMs. There’s a headphone jack, too, and a port for the charger.

Even though this laptop isn’t running your typical Intel chipset, it still carries the same version of Windows 10. Actually, it runs Windows 10 S out-of-the-box, but you’ll be able to upgrade to the full version for free.

Having a full version of Windows 10 means you can use Ink and Cortana, and there’s a Windows Hello-enabled fingerprint scanner on the responsive trackpad.

I’ll have to spend a lot more time with the Asus NovaGo to see how its performance compares to other Windows laptops, but from the short time I spent with it, the device certainly felt smooth and fast in use.

First impressions

The idea of these always-connected, Snapdragon 835 laptops is seriously interesting. Being connected to fast LTE everywhere, without the faff of tethering or hunting for Wi-Fi, surely must be the future. The idea of having a laptop that can comfortably last a day, or more, without a charge is fantastic too. So let’s hope it lives up to the billing.

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