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Why it matters: Laptops are expensive pieces of tech, and the fact they're so portable makes them easily lost or stolen. But a partnership with Tile announced earlier this year ensures machines equipped with Intel hardware will be easier to track should they go missing. Now, HP has revealed the technology will once again appear in its new laptops, though this time it's being implemented differently.
The new laptops with Tile tech include the HP EliteBook 800 G8 Series (EliteBook x360 830, 830, 840 and 850) and the ZBook Firefly G8 mobile workstations. In 2021, the technology will be pre-installed on HP laptops with an 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU or Intel wireless card.
As noted by Tom's Hardware, the upcoming laptops will use a software-based Tile tracking system, rather than the hardware solution found in the HP Elite Dragonfly and EliteBook 1000 series—those laptops feature a PCIe module, not the kind of Tile device that's used to find lost keys or other items.
The EliteBook 850 G8
"This time around, Tile's technology is a pre-installed software solution that requires no additional hardware, making it far more accessible and easy to use," said Tile CEO CJ Prober in a statement.
To activate the laptops' tracking features, the technology must be enabled through the Tile Windows 10 app. Owners can then use the Tile mobile app to locate a missing machine, even if they're in sleep, hibernate, or soft-off mode.
While being able to track down a laptop could be a very welcome ability for many people and businesses, it will likely bring more concerns about technology that knows where we are at all times.
HP's new PCs are expected to ship this month. Pricing will be announced closer to availability.