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Microsoft and Qualcomm Unveil First ARM-Powered PCs

Microsoft and Qualcomm Unveil First ARM-Powered PCs

The companies announced all-new Windows on ARM PCs, including HP's Envy x2 and ASUS's NovaGo.

Qualcomm also confirmed that the Snapdragon 845 will be the chipset to power the next generation of flagship smartphones in 2018, but aside from vague promises about improved camera technology and greater efficiency, no details have yet been revealed. HP, Asus, and Lenovo will all be launching laptops and convertibles with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor in them, with prices expected to range from $600 to $800.

While this might seem like it wouldn't offer enough performance to power the full fat Windows 10 S operating system that comes baked in, the tablet performed admirably as we navigated the interface and used Microsoft's Office applications and browsing the web on Edge. However, we were equally anxious its launch would simply lead to another swath of cheap Windows 10 S devices created to compete with Chromebooks. The NovaGo can be similarly equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but its fixed display is a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel panel. The Envy X2 is very similar to numerous Surface Pro types of computers that already exist, while the NovaGo feels just like any other budget to midrange laptop.

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The real differences with these computers will be felt once we've gotten a chance to use these computers in an everyday scenario. The device with 4GB RAM and 64GB SSD will be available for $599, the one with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD for $799. The Envy x2 is, like the Microsoft Surface Pro, a 2-in-1 detachable with a removable keyboard cover with built in hinge, measuring 6.9mm thin, and promising 20-hour battery life.

The Windows on ARM PCs are part of a broader Always Connected PC initiative, but those cellular machines don't need to have an ARM processor. "OEMs around the world will now be able to combine the recently announced AMD Ryzen mobile processors with Qualcomm Technologies' leading wireless solutions via their Snapdragon LTE modem family to achieve new levels of performance, connectivity and capability for ultrathin notebook PCs". Till then, stay tuned.