At the Computex, Microsoft teamed up with Qualcomm to demonstrate the first Windows 10 PC prototype that isn’t powered by an Intel CPU but the Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform. The same which powers Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone.
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Surely, putting ARM processors into computers would bump up the battery life (by up to 50 in this case) And it would also bring more fanless Windows machines into the hands of the buyers, a benefit which is primarily enjoyed by Mac users.
A demo version of the Snapdragon-powered PC is up for display at Computex. To give it a desktop like feel, the companies included a 46-inch monitor and wireless mouse-keyboard combo as well.
The device would be able to take advantage of both Windows 10 for ARM and Snapdragon 835 platform by running full-blown desktop apps (via the inbuilt x86 emulator for 32-bit apps) like Microsoft Office and Windows 10 UWP apps. They can also utilize Snapdragon 835’s onboard X16 LTE modem to experience gigabit wireless speeds without any external hardware and reduce the dependency on WiFi networks.
It’s Microsoft’s second attempt at pushing Windows 10 devices that run on ARM processors. It builds on the top of last year’s keynote at WinHEC where Microsoft announced they are working with Qualcomm to bring support for Snapdragon chips.
Hopefully, Redmond has learned from the failure of Windows RT which was probably ahead of its time. The inclusion of the x86 emulator has fixed one of the biggest hurdles in the company’s way towards ARM-powered PCs.
It’s unclear when we will be able to see Windows 10 PCs with Snapdragon 835 in the store. But according to the announcement, the first lot of such machines would be manufactured by Asus, HP, and Lenovo. The devices would probably arrive by the end of this year or by 2018.
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