PC OEMs Already Testing Windows 10 Notebooks Powered By Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors

Microsoft recently made a surprise announcement that it was bringing support for Windows 10 to run natively on Qualcomm's ARM-based Snapdragon processors, paving the way for a full Windows 10 experience on increasingly powerful mobile handsets. The announcement also opened the door to using Snapdragon processors in laptops and tablets running Windows 10 and that is something that device makers are already working towards.

Word from the upstream supply chain is that brand vendors have already begun developing and testing laptops and tablets equipped with Snapdragon System-on-Chips (SoCs) and that final products could land in the market in the second half of 2017. There is no mention of which specific OEMs are building Snapdragon products running Windows 10, though if we had to speculate, ASUS and Acer seem like logical fits for this sort of thing. Same goes for companies that have traditionally played in the smartphone space, such as HTC.

Windows 10 Laptop with Qualcomm Snapdragon

One thing that is attracting brand vendors is battery life. Snapdragon processors are fairly strong chips, but also power efficient, especially compared to desktop CPUs.

They're also drawn the concept of Snapdragon laptops from a cost perspective. The question is, will there be a viable market and vendors believe the answer is yes. If nothing else, they feel that giving customers additional choices in the PC space will be a good thing.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. Microsoft's earlier effort to serve the ARM space was a bust with Windows RT, but a large reason why is because it was a gimped version of the full Windows experience. This time around, Microsoft is bringing support for the complete Windows 10 ecosystem with x86 emulation, exclusive to Snapdragon processors, and the early demos showed it running very well.

"Qualcomm Snapdragon processors offer one of the world’s most advanced mobile computing features, including Gigabit LTE connectivity, advanced multimedia support, machine learning and superior hardware security features, all while supporting thin, fan-less designs and long battery life," Qualcomm Technologies executive vice president Cristiano Amon said of the collaboration. "With compatibility with the Windows 10 ecosystem, the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform is expected to support mobility to cloud computing and redefine how people will use their compute devices."

While these devices aren't slated to arrive until the second half of 2017, perhaps we'll see some early prototypes at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.