HP and Tile have announced more laptops featuring the latter's tracking technology. HP's EliteBook 800 G8 Series business notebook and the ZBook Firefly G8 mobile workstations make for five new notebooks with the tech for finding lost stuff. The EliteBook 800 G8 series includes the EliteBook x360 830, 830, 840 and 850.
In 2021, Tile's tech will be preinstalled on HP laptops with an 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPU or Intel wireless card. This adds HP notebooks to Tile's network of items to find if you misplace them, even when hibernating or sleeping.
The big difference this time is that the companies are doing it without Tile's hardware. Tile integration could previously be found in the HP Elite Dragonfly and EliteBook 1000 series, but those used a PCIe module instead of the Tile hardware you might otherwise put on a set of keys or in a wallet.
Tile CEO CJ Prober said in a statement that “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[.]”
Tile partnered with Intel earlier this year, and these are the first laptops to use the software features as a result. Previously, we learned that Inttel would be "utilizing driver firmware and bios configurations in conjunction with Tile technology,” as Tile put it.
Intel, however, has been investing in low-power features with Tiger Lake, including support for Windows 10's Modern Standby and calling voice assistants, like Amazon Alexa, so it's possible that it's tapping into that for Tile.
To use the tracking and finding features, you need to activate the device through the Tile Windows 10 app. Some people — or the IT departments at the companies they work for — may find this feature reassuring. But we don't know exactly how the Bluetooth-enabled tracking device works, and there are some people who may not want to use that feature for fear of being tracked themselves.
But as Tiles comes to more and more HP notebooks, including consumer models, next year, we'll see if it has any affect on consumer sentiment and, perhaps, find out how many people lose their laptops all the time and find it within a few hundred feet.