One of Intel’s worst nightmares has come true: Qualcomm has reached an agreement with Microsoft (and leading PC makers) to launch the first ARM processor notebooks on the market. They are similar to the hybrids we have seen so far, but inside they have a Qualcomm processor (the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC with Always Connected PC) that, among other things, promise an autonomy of a whole day.
During the Qualcomm Summit that is being held, the company has announced its new collaboration with Microsoft. The idea of Microsoft with these laptops is to be able to get into a market that is now looking for mobility and the advantages that this implies. These new laptops are closer to resembling a tablet than to a traditional laptop , since they are always connected to the network through an LTE connection and with an ARM architecture they can manage much better the power consumption.
A version of Windows 10 itself, the apps by emulation
Microsoft announced for the first time its plans to bring Windows 10 to PCs running ARM chips a year ago, and in May it named the first six manufacturers: Asus, HP, Huawei, Lenovo, Vaio and Xiaomi. Now it has become effective and for this they have compiled a version of Windows 10 that works in ARM natively and without emulation. Therefore all Windows 10, Edge processes and the start menu will not require any emulation. This version that the laptops with Qualcomm processor will bring is Windows 10 S, but it can be updated for free to Windows 10 Pro.
It is not the same for the applications that we install, the applications of 32 bits will be executed under the emulator and in principle we should not notice any difference. The 64-bit ones are still not compatible and can not be emulated. Finally, programs that use kernel drivers do not work either, in other words: antivirus programs and many games can not be executed either. It remains to see what is the real performance of these apps in ARM.
Asus and HP will bring the first Windows laptops with ARM
The first two manufacturers that are going to join this initiative and bet on integrating the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC are Asus and HP (Lenovo will give more details at CES in the coming weeks). Asus NovaGo is the most interesting of the two (although at the moment it will not reach Spain and Latin America), and they have shared some details of what it will take inside:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
- Windows 10 S as operating system
- Graphics Qualcomm Adreno 540 710 710 MHz
- 802.11a / b / g / n connectivity, 2 × 2 802.11ac MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi Direct, Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem
- Autonomy of 22 hours in normal use and more than 30 days at rest
For its part HP will launch the ENVY X2, which they say “combines the best of a smartphone experience with the best of a Windows PC.” To this is added the promise of autonomy of one day and more than 29 days at rest. There are still no dates of departure , nor prices or many other details that are to be confirmed, but we will leave doubts in the spring of 2018 according to the manufacturers.