After a few months since its introduction we already have the first ARM processor-based laptops born of the collaboration between Microsoft and Qualcomm, devices that promise up to 24 hours of autonomy and Always Connected function thanks to the Qualcomm 4G modem they integrate. Undoubtedly a direct threat to Intel and AMD that monopolize the license of x86 processors that currently dominate the laptop sector, we will see if this option is a success or a failure in the line of Windows RT.
These new Always Connected laptops work as we know with the SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa core with cores Kyro 280 up to 2.45 GHz and an Adreno 540 GPU, also integrates the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 4G modem. As we see in Qualcomm advertising we are insisted on the autonomy of 24 hours, but we must be clear that if we have the screen on constantly we will have the same autonomy as in any conventional laptop since the critical point is the screen. It is clear that with this SoC we will have better energy management than with x86 processors but only with regard to rest modes.
Installed with the new Windows 10 ARM laptops we have the Windows 10 S operating system, a much more limited version than the classic Windows 10 which we can update for free (theoretically). A logical strategy because Windows 10 S limits us in use of apps only from the Microsoft store and these are the ones that will really offer us full compatibility with this platform.
Keep in mind that Windows 10 on ARM is only compatible with 32-bit applications and no with 64-bit, something that already limits the professional use of the device. On the other hand, the Windows 10 ARM runs the system natively, but the applications are emulated and only those that do not require drivers at the system level will work, which limits the use of many games and utilities. As we see these limitations involve a lot of dependence on Microsoft updates and Qualcomm support, something that’s reminds us of Windows RT and brings us not good memories, we can forget support for Linux of course (Microsoft pay this party).
The brands HP, Huawei, Lenovo, Vaio, Asus and Xiaomi have been the ones that have been announced as the first to join this new range of products but for now we only know two specific products that we will see in the market in the spring of 2018. On the one hand we have the HP Envy x2 which is a 2 in 1 with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of disk with FullHD screen and on the other we have the Asus NovaGo that offers us a convertible with similar characteristics. The key point that we do not know is the price of these devices, because if to do the same with many limitations we have to pay more the business will not be very profitable.