Always connected Windows on ARM (Snapdragon 850) now a thing

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Andrew Orlowski normally has his finger on the pulse, so to speak, and he reports in the linked article on the Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS, fully LTE-enabled and powered by a Snapdragon 850 chipset. No, it's not a phone or even a communicator, but I figured it was of interest to anyone wanting Windows 10 on low power ARM chipsets while mobile. A 'laptop' that's ultra thin and gives 25 hours use on a charge? That's the claim.

Yoga C630 WOS

From The Register's article:

Microsoft's long journey away from Intel reached escape velocity this week, as the first traditional laptop machine with Qualcomm's Arm processor was revealed by Lenovo, in the shape of the Yoga C630 WOS. "WOS" stands for "Windows on Snapdragon", how Qualcomm prefers to call "Windows on Arm", and since it's Qualcomm Inside, not Intel Inside, it gets to call the shots.

This is the second "always connected" PC from Lenovo to run a Qualcomm chip, but the first to run the Snapdragon 850 processor. Officially announced last year, the Microsoft-Qualcomm alliance Always Connected was created to produce chips with support for legacy x86 instructions into an Arm processor, which should result in full blown Windows running on devices with greater power efficiency than Intel could manage.

How much more efficiency? "25+ hours of local video playback on a single charge," says Qualcomm. The proof's in the pudding, though: once the x86 instructions are tapped, and the Yoga is put through a real-life work day, we'll have a better idea.

This particular Yoga is a smart but generic 1.2kg machine with 13.3-inch touchscreen convertible display. Naturally, there's an LTE modem built in: no more hunting around for dodgy hotspots, Lenovo stresses. The Snapdragon 850 (2.90Ghz) is supported by 4GB of RAM.

This being the first of its kind, the price is high - £850 in the UK, inc VAT, apparently.Which seems at least twice the price of the equivalent device running with an Intel chipset. Is the extra worth the possible tripling of battery life? For some. For most people, these units will need to come down to the same price as traditional laptops, netbooks, hybrids and ultra-portables. And that will take at least a year.

It's also worth noting that the exceptional battery life is when running ARM-compiled Windows 10 and UWP applications. Legacy Win32 applications running under emulation will hit the processor harder. I think we could see something like this with 8GB RAM and a Snapdragon 1000 this time next year. That might still be £850, but it would run much faster and more smoothly, I'll bet, and might then be worth it!

Source / Credit: The Register