Windows ARM Hardware News
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.
Based on our experience with the $1000 Lenovo Yoga C630 powered by a Snapdragon 850, software reliability is still a huge hit or miss on Windows 10 Pro. Qualcomm's grand plans for Windows on Snapdragon is off to a slow and rough start.
Lenovo's Yoga C630 is probably the best Windows on ARM device, depending on what you're looking for. There are only two PCs on the market to use Qualcomm's latest chipset, the Snapdragon 850, with the other one being the Samsung Galaxy Book2.
Last week was Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit, and if you're a fan of Windows on ARM, there was a lot of exciting news. The firm announced the Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform, its first 7nm PC chip, meant to compete with a 15W Intel Core i5. It's also the first ARM chip to be supported by Windows 10 Enterprise, with Qualcomm also announcing a number of partners working on enterprise apps.
We just spent a week hearing about the future of Qualcomm’s PC chips. Now it’s time to return to the present. Until the Snapdragon 8cx comes out around Q3 2019, the battle of Intel vs. Snapdragon is being played out in stores and online, with the scrappy Snapdragon 835 and 850 facing a small army of Intel mobile CPUs.
This week, I've been attending Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit (I actually recorded this video before that). One thing that I noticed was that all Qualcomm employees were using Lenovo's Yoga C630 WOS, one of only two PCs on the market with a Snapdragon 850.
Today is the third day of Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit, and it's all about Always-Connected PCs. The firm announced the Snapdragon 8cx, promising performance on par with an Intel Core i5. But for the first time, the new chipset won't actually be replacing its predecessor.
It’s looking ever more likely that Qualcomm’s upcoming mobile processor, expected to be the Snapdragon 8180, will be powering the next generation of Windows 10 on ARM devices.