Qualcomm Scores Design Wins With HP, Lenovo And ASUS For Snapdragon 835-Powered Windows 10 PCs

Windows Laptop Qualcomm
Microsoft turned a lot heads late last year when it announced that Windows 10 would soon offer native support for ARM processors. More specifically, that support has only been extended to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon family of SoCs (System on Chip), which are typically reserved for smartphones and tablets.

Today, Qualcomm announced that it has signed up three major OEMs to deliver mobile PCs using the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform. ASUS, HP and Lenovo have all committed to delivering new computing experiences later this that will come with standard gigabit-class LTE (courtesy of the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem), all-day battery life (afforded by the efficient ARM-based Snapdragon 835 architecture and 10nm manufacturing process) and always-connected versatility.

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“Today’s PC users want solutions that provide better battery life and the ability to connect anytime, anywhere, while also being lighter and more portable than any other laptop currently available,” said Jeff Meredith, SVP and GM for Lenovo’s PCs and smart devices consumer business segment. “We’re excited to work with Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies to bring a whole new class of devices to consumers that will change the future of personal computing.”

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Qualcomm says that PCs powered by the Snapdragon 835 will have up to 50 percent better battery life than their counterparts that rely on x86 processors. In addition, Connected Standby mode will afford users a 4x to 5x improvement in performance, offering weeks of battery life versus just days between charges. Connected Standby allows users to have instant-on access to their devices, continuously sync data in the background and give Cortana the ability to listen for your wake command when the system is asleep.

Competing Commercial Circuit BoardQualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform Prototype Circuit Board
(Click to enlarge)

It should be noted that even though Windows 10 will be running on an ARM-based processor, users will not encounter software compatibility issues that plagued previous Microsoft operating systems like Windows RT. “You also have all of the apps that you’re used to,” said Microsoft Group Product Manager Hari Pulapaka during a Windows 10 on ARM demonstration at Build 2017 earlier this month.

“For example, all of the UWP apps in the store, all of the centennial apps will be available on Windows 10 on ARM. And not just that, Windows 10 on ARM will also provide you with full support for running x86 Win32 apps. Your existing x86 apps will run completely fine on this device through the magic of the x86 emulation layer.”

This means users won’t just be limited to Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps downloaded from the Windows Store, which was a huge limiting factor for Windows RT that launched with the original Surface tablets.

OEMs have been testing new Windows PC running on Qualcomm Snapdragon hardware since late 2016, so we can’t wait to see what they have to offer when these devices are available for consumers later in 2017, hopefully in time for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.