Asus, HP out first Windows 10 on Arm devices

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Microsoft's first major attempt was with Windows RT back on the original Surface, but that went so badly, it nearly tanked the entire platform. Qualcomm referred to the machines as "Always Connected", to drive the idea of a laptop that does not have to depend on nearby WiFi to be able to browse the Web. You can think of it like this: If you tend to use a lot of x86 apps or prefer the kind of performance you get from systems with Intel Core i7 CPUs, Windows on Snapdragon probably won't do much for you.

Currently, Windows on Snapdragon devices all look to be some type of 2-in-1, whether its something with a 360-degree rotating hinge like the 33cm Asus NovaGo, or a Surface Pro-like detachable such as HP's Envy x2.

As for the devices themselves, there is less in the way of form factor innovation for now and nothing disruptive about their prices. These are essentially eternally connected to an LTE connection.


The Envy x2 is HP's take on a Surface Pro clone, except it has a Snapdragon 835 processor instead of something from Intel. The Snapdragon 835 octa-core SoC claims to last an entire day of usage with regards to battery life - Qualcomm claimed that this was possible because the new chip is efficient at power management without compromising on computing abilities.

HP and Asus will be among the first to offer "Always Connected PCs" that run Windows 10 on Arm-based processors. It should be a compact laptop since it features a 13.3-inch 1080p display. It too has support for a stylus as well. The 4GB RAM/64GB storage model will cost $599 and 8GB RAM and 256GB storage model will cost $799. All of Windows itself has been recompiled to run natively on ARM and Microsoft's Office team has made optimizations for the processor architecture. Since apps on the Microsoft store were originally created to run on both x86 and ARM processors, there's no problems there. Unless you dive into the task manager or take a peek as the system info, it's pretty hard to differentiate between Windows 10 running on Snapdragon and Windows 10 running on x86. And if you thought Snapdragon 835 Windows 10 laptops sound exciting, then Snapdragon 845 laptops will be even better. Partnering with Qualcomm, the company has ported Windows 10 - the full-fat edition, distinct from its previous and since-retired Arm-compatible cut-down Windows RT operating system - to the Snapdragon platform with a view to cutting costs and boosting battery life. This means that all Windows processes and the shell itself will run on the hardware without need for a separate emulator. We are working on an ARM64 SDK that will enable developers to author applications for ARM64 and we'll have more news to share in the future. In addition, Microsoft also isn't supporting apps that use kernel mode drivers.

This is the third model which is always connected to the computer or laptop known as the "Always Connected PC" is in the range which can work for the gadget.


But it has now also come full circle with Windows-on-Snapdragon, a full-fledged version of Windows that relies on emulation to run 32-bit x86-native code.

There is also the question of performance.

ASUS NovaGO will offer 22 hours of video playback and offer up to 30 days of modern standby. In fact, the best thing you could do about these devices is to ignore them for about a year.


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