Microsoft and Qualcomm Unveil First ARM-Powered PCs

06 December, 2017, 00:53 | Author: Randy Kelley

The Snapdragon 835 in the Windows on ARM machines will be accompanied by Qualcomm's X16 Gigabit LTE modem, with support for up to 1 Gbps downloads, network depending.

What we do know is that Xiaomi was the first to announce it'll be making an 845 phone, as the Chinese brand joined Qualcomm on stage to tease its upcoming device.

Next, it was the turn of HP's Kevin Frost, who also unveiled a Snapdragon 835-powered Windows 10 laptop at the event: the HP Envy x2.

Asus CEO Jerry Shen was on hand to reveal the Asus NovaGo, an ultra-thin and light convertible laptop powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 8GB of memory and 256GB of Universal Flash Storage 2.0 (UFS 2.0), which is capable of speeds up to 1,400Mbps. It's effectively a Snapdragon version of the Spectre x2. Sadly there's no carrier subsidy, unlike with a phone, to lower the cost; however, networks will nearly certainly be incentivizing retailers to push data activation on new sales. To see how all of that works, we'll have to spend more time with these machines. 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. Frost didn't mention a stylus, but the machine was pictured with such a pen attached to its case, so it probably supports Windows Ink. 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.

There's another big name with hardware waiting in the wings, mind.

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At its technology summit in Maui this afternoon, Qualcomm provided some additional details of the results of its partnership with Microsoft to bring Windows to the chipmaker's SoCs. It's unclear what form-factor it'll adopt, though given it has a large Yoga line-up of 2-in-1s with rotating hinges, that seems like a safe bet.

We should have full United Kingdom pricing details very soon. Nonetheless, there are still some big questions lingering, that only real-world experience will settle one way or another.

The chip will likely be found in other, non-Android devices as well, including Windows 10 PCs, among others.

Microsoft Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group Terry Myerson. That may still be some way out, but it could have a huge impact on not only Intel and AMD's businesses, but that of other companies relying on their low-power chips, including Apple.

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