What Are Copilot Plus PCs? Should You Upgrade Now?

Image of the Copilot+ PCs branding

It’s safe to assume that Microsoft’s big bet on OpenAI has paid off, with the company integrating Copilot into every possible service. However, until now, the integration of these AI systems has been surface-level, as they require an internet connection to process data. To address this issue, Microsoft has just announced a new branding called “Copilot Plus PCs,” which aims to take AI integration to the next level. Here is everything you need to know about it.

What are “Copilot Plus PCs?”

Similar to smartphones, laptops with the “Copilot Plus PCs” branding denote devices with built-in artificial intelligence, thanks to specialized AI hardware. Unfortunately, this also means that current laptops will not be able to support this standard as they lack the necessary neural hardware.

Additionally, since running AI models is a resource-intensive task, Microsoft has set specific requirements to ensure a smooth experience. These requirements include a minimum of 256GB of SSD storage and 16GB of RAM. Moreover, ARM laptops must provide at least 15 hours of battery life.

Now that we have the spec requirements out of the way, you might wonder what the advantages of this integration are. Firstly, built-in AI systems will reduce reliance on cloud-based processing, enhancing privacy for documents and significantly reducing processing time. Moreover, the AI will enable users to ask questions about the PC in natural language and receive answers, thus helping the less tech-savvy users.

Big performance gains

Perhaps the biggest advantage of this integration is the “Recall” feature. According to Microsoft, this feature will allow the AI to analyze your usage patterns and create a “photographic memory” of all the tasks you perform daily. The AI would then optimize the system to make these everyday tasks more fluid and less time-consuming. Additionally, if you’re learning a new skill, such as video editing, the feature will provide helpful insights based on the menus and content being displayed.

Although we currently cannot test the performance gains, Microsoft claims that these laptops would be more than 50% faster than the latest M3 MacBook Air while maintaining solid all-day battery life. However, it is important to note that company hasn’t specified if all laptops with the “Copilot Plus PCs” branding would have this performance benefit or only ARM laptops.

Furthermore, the company will use 40 AI models to power these features, along with Copilot. Additionally, this integration will first debut with ARM chips as part of Microsoft’s push toward greater adoption. However, Intel and AMD chips will receive these features in the future as well.

Should you upgrade?

Considering the first ARM laptops with the branding will start shipping on June 18th, you might be tempted to consider them. However, keep in mind that ARM support on Windows is still lackluster, meaning many software applications will require a translation layer to work, which can significantly impact performance. Therefore, if you urgently need to upgrade your laptop, we advise against considering the ARM alternatives, as you will pay the “early adopters tax.”

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