Windows ARM Hardware News
Released earlier this week, the Surface Pro X is Microsoft's first Windows on ARM PC, after its partners released two generations of it using the Snapdragon 835 and Snapdragon 850. But now, we're in the era of the Snapdragon 8cx, a Qualcomm chipset that's built from the ground up for PCs and is meant to be on par with an Intel Core i5.
From the moment I opened up the Surface Pro X, I got the sense that Microsoft had entered a new chapter for its homegrown hardware. Gone are the huge bezels and hard edges found on the company’s previous detachables, and in their place you something that’s sleek and sophisticated, unlike anything Microsoft has made before.
One of the most eagerly anticipated announcements from Microsoft's Surface event in New York City last week was the Surface Pro X. The latest member of the successful Surface Pro family is powered by an Arm processor, which should translate into a dramatically longer battery life and easy LTE connectivity.
We've known for some time that Microsoft is working on a Qualcomm-based Surface Pro, and now it's official. It's called the Surface Pro X, and it's powered by a custom Microsoft SQ1 chipset, Qualcomm's newest flagship chipset that's custom-built for PCs. It's meant to be comparable to an Intel Core i5.
Of everything Microsoft is rumored to be announcing this week, the ARM-based Surface is far and away the most important thing to my mind. This is not what I would have told you a month or two ago, honestly. It’s surprising because there are really important storylines for everything Microsoft is set to announce. Let’s just strafe a few of them before digging into ARM.
Microsoft is set to unveil new Surface devices in less than two days, and with some leaked images already on the internet, famous leakster Evan Blass has gone ahead and revealed the design of three of the upcoming devices. In a series of tweets, Blass shows off the Surface Pro 7, both size variants of the Surface Laptop 3, and the awaited ARM-powered Surface.
Microsoft's big Surface launch event is just days away at this point, and FrAndroid says it has the scoop. A few things that we're expecting to see is the Surface Pro 7, a Snapdragon-powered Surface tablet, and Surface Laptop 3 in 13.5- and 15-inch flavors. Today's report shares some details on those devices.
IFA 2019 Is Windows on Arm a thing? Yes, both Samsung and Lenovo had models on display at IFA in Berlin. But it has yet to take off with the great majority of laptops running Intel or AMD chipsets. Windows on Arm runs either applications compiled for ARM32 or ARM64, or x86 applications under emulation. It will not run x64 applications.
There are only a handful of Windows on ARM devices on the market, those being PCs that use Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and run either native ARM apps or emulated x86 apps. I had only known about two from the latest generation, the Snapdragon 850, until May. When I spoke to the Windows on ARM team at Microsoft's Build conference, I found out about the China-exclusive MateBook E.
In the U.S., so far only two PCs have launched with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 chipset for an "always-connected PC" (ACPC) experience: Samsung's Galaxy Book2 and the Lenovo Yoga C630. Both devices are great, but a third one is only available in China: Huawei's MateBook E. I'm in China this week with Huawei, and I managed to get my hands on this 2-in-1 PC. Here are my thoughts.
I wasn't expecting to like the Galaxy Book S as much as I did. After all, based on the teaser video Samsung showed during its Unpacked keynote today, the laptop looked pretty unassuming. Let that be a lesson to learn, though -- don't judge a book by its company-approved cover photo. After I picked up the computer at Samsung's demo area here at Unpacked, I was immediately impressed by how thin and premium it felt.
Samsung's Galaxy Book2 was definitely one of the better Windows on ARM PCs to be released so far, being one of only three Snapdragon 850 PCs and packing a Super AMOLED display. But it appears that the Korean company might have something new in store from the Windows on ARM department called the Galaxy Space, as was spotted on Geekbench by Windows Latest.
Last week at Computex, Qualcomm finally showed the world how its new Snapdragon 8cx mobile platform performs in real-world benchmarks. The 8cx was announced back in December during Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit, but we didn’t have a good idea about how well the platform fares against Intel chips because Qualcomm only shared the raw specifications and a few technical demonstrations.
Microsoft is pushing hard for its Windows 10 ARM platform, and while the company is working with software developers to optimize their apps and support this project, it’s also accelerating its hardware efforts in this regard.
I shortly discussed GPD MicroPC, a portable computer specifically designed for for network engineers and sysadmins in a post about the company’s Pocket 2 Amber Black mini laptop, but I did not go into details at the time since it was not available.