At the Qualcomm Tech Summit today, Microsoft and Qualcomm are finally showing off the first set of devices powered by Windows on ARM and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processors. Microsoft is calling these new type of devices the Always Connected PCs, and they promise to offer up to 20 hours of battery life, instant-on capabilities, and a month of standby.
Right off the bat, Always Connected PCs will ship with Windows 10 S, which means you won’t be able to run full desktop apps like Photoshop and other Win32 apps that aren’t available through the Microsoft Store. You will, however, be able to upgrade these devices to Windows 10 Pro if you want to. This means you will be able to run full desktop apps, thanks to Microsoft’s x86 emulation tech built specifically for Windows on ARM. The performance of Microsoft’s emulation tech remains a big question, so we will just have to wait and see for the time being.
Asus showed off its first-ever Always Connected 2-in-1 device at the stage today. The company’s NovaGo Always Connected 2-in-1 comes with the Snapdragon 835 processor, up to 256GB of storage, up to 8GB of RAM, and a 13.3-inch HD display. It’s the world’s first gigabit LTE laptop because of Snapdragon’s X16 LTE modem.
The device is expected to offer up to 22 hours of video playback, but your mileage will vary, of course. It comes with Windows 10 S out of the box, but you will get free upgrades to Windows 10 Pro until September of next year. NovaGo starts at $599 for the 4GB RAM variant, while the more powerful 8GB RAM variant will come at $799.
HP is also launching its first-ever Always Connected 2-in-1 device today, the Envy x2. The device comes with up to 8GB of RAM, expected to offer up to 20 hours of life, and 256GB of storage like the Asus NovaGo.
Qualcomm is teaming up with some carriers in the United States, including Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile to offer the Asus NovaGo which comes with an eSIM. The company will release the device in the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Mainland China and Taiwan as well. Worth noting, Lenovo will be unveiling its Always Connected PC at CES in January.
Paul and Brad are present at the event in Hawaii, so stay tuned for hands-on videos and more pictures of these devices later today.