Consumers can soon expect an over 20-hour battery life and an always-on LTE connection to the internet thanks to a slew of Microsoft products equipped with the latest ARM processors.
Microsoft has found a way of utilising those same ARM processors in the latest smartphone handsets – specifically the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 –with the larger form factor of laptops and larger tablets.
The Asus NovaGo, HP Envy x2, and the Lenovo Miix 630 are the first three ‘Windows-on-ARM’ and are set to go on sale in the coming months.
As among the first to be announced last December, the Asus is an intriguing prospect. A 13-inch premium laptop with a 360-degree 2-in-1 design and equipped with Windows Hello and a fingerprint sensor – and perhaps most importantly up to 22 hours of battery life. It is almost double the battery life that Intel/AMD processors can claim.
The Asus NovaGo price starts at $599 for the 4GB of RAM with 64GB of variant. $799 will get you the 8GB/256GB model.
Since Windows-on-ARM would enable lightweight designs, remarkable battery life and ‘always connected’ Windows 10 on ARM, it had been expected that many major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) would be chomping at the bit to begin manufacturing ARM-powered PCs.
However, Dell has been curiously silent and at a recent event in Germany the American company explained why.
Dell, one of Microsoft’s biggest OEMs in the world, acknowledged that Microsoft’s benchmarks looked promising but that they would rather wait and see if they succeed or not on a commercial level.
Dell representatives noted that Microsoft’s previous trials with ARM which included Windows RT and Windows Phone were both spectacular failures.
However, unlike both Windows phones or Windows RT devices the new ARM-powered PCs will run a full-fledged desktop version of Windows – well almost.
Microsoft posted some documentation for Windows 10 on ARM earlier this week outlining some limitations for ‘Windows-on-ARM’.
They confirmed that applications designed for x86 chips will function as intended although 64-bit apps designed for Intel and AMD chips are not supported – for now.
While ARM-processors would not enable heavy Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere usage, these cheap, light new breed of personal computers may just be the right fit for students.