Windows 10 on ARM PCs are here. Or as Microsoft likes to call the, Always Connected PCs. And well, from the first reviews, it appears that these devices are not exactly what you would call great.
They’re very good for everyday use, but lack power and performance when the going gets tough.
Which is to be excepted, I guess.
These devices are, of course, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, a mobile solution that was found in several smartphones that made their way out last year. It seems odd using this chip for these PCs that are set to launch later this spring, but here we are.
Anyway, Laptop Mag got a chance to look at the HP Envy x2, while the folks over at The Verge spent some quality time with the ASUS NovaGo.
Now, while both reviews highlighted the impressive battery life of these devices, as well as the notion of having a laptop that is always connected to the Internet, the real talking point was the performance of these machines.
And the bad news is that the traditional desktop programs, Win32 software as they’re known, are almost unusable on these machines.
The Windows 10 on ARM platform has the ability to run these types of applications via emulation, but both the abovementioned devices suffered from performance lag. That’s because the Qualcomm 835 CPU and 4GB of RAM don’t provide that much speed when running programs.
Windows Store apps are fine for the most part.
But when you have the HP Envy x2, a $999 machine, and the ASUS NovaGo starting at $599, you just expect something better — more so when considering other budget laptops that put up a good show.
Nevertheless, both machines ship with Window 10 S. And consumers that are okay with running this variant of the operating system along with Microsoft Edge and other UWP apps will find much to like here in terms of unique features.
That said, these are not machines meant for use by power users, and that will probably remain the case until we get the second-generation devices, powered by the Snapdragon 845 and beyond.
For the time being, though, buyers will just have to take the good with the bad with these devices.