Back in December 2017, Microsoft launched Windows 10 On ARM — a new operating system designed to run Windows 10 on laptops powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips. While the computers designed for this version of Windows have failed to make an impact on the market, they’ve surely attracted the attention of the open source community.
Just recently, I came across a project named aarch64-laptops on GitHub. It’s a result of the desire of some Linux enthusiasts to bring distros like Ubuntu to ARM-running laptops. Currently, the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS images are available for Asus NovaGo TP370QL, HP Envy x2, and Lenovo Mixx 630.
The project page mentions that one can download the images and flash them on the computers using an SD card; it also provides a particular flash tool for the procedure.
As noted by TechRepublic, there are some issues as well with this workaround. There’s limited support when it comes to accelerated graphics and Asus Nova Go is also having trouble with Wi-Fi and touchpad.
I hope that the project continues to grow with time and offers more choices. This is because Windows 10 On ARM devices promise a massive battery life of up to 18 hours.
It also becomes a more attractive option given the fact that distros like Ubuntu and others already support aarch64 (ARMv8) by default. By removing the existing roadblocks with the custom boot images, the ARM laptops could turn out to be high-performance machines.
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