Microsoft and Qualcomm Unveil First ARM-Powered PCs

Laverne Mann
December 6, 2017

The first Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 laptop is here and it's coming out of Taiwan.

The news followed Qualcomm's confirmation at the event that it will be launching a new mobile platform - the Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip.

The Snapdragon 845 will likely feature in the big phones of 2018, but as of yet we're not exactly sure what's new. 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.

Recently AMD announced it was bringing its new high-performance x86 CPU cores and its latest GPU architecture to the notebook space. 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 screen flips 360 degrees and supports a stylus. Both models will launch with Windows 10 S, but can be upgraded to the full Windows 10 experience. Retail prices start from US$599 for the 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage version and tops at US$799 for the 8 GB RAM/256 GB storage version. The Envy relies entirely on USB Type-C ports for its input and output, while the Asus has full-size USB Type-A ports and an HDMI port.

Qualcomm takes aim at Intel in PC processors

The Snapdragon 845 is (wait for it!) a direct successor to the Snapdragon 835, which can be found lingering inside devices like the Galaxy S9, Galaxy Note 8, Pixel 2, and Moto Z2 Force.

You can also detach the keyboard cover completely and use the Envy x2 as a standalone tablet akin to the iPad Pro. It also says that the built-in LTE connectivity will provide significantly faster speeds than other now available LTE-equipped Windows 10 computers.

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.

More details are to come in a press junket, including the release timeframe.

CEO of Asus, Jerry Shen, took to the stage at the Qualcomm Tech Summit 2017 now underway in Hawaii to announce the world's first Gigabit LTE laptop, the Asus NovaGo. We'll find out the answers to those questions and more when the Envy x2 goes on sale next spring, but for now, HP gave us a few minutes of hands-on time with one so we can offer you a sneak preview of what to expect from this detachable laptop that thinks it's a smartphone. Stay tuned for more.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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