Everything we now know about the first Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 laptops

New details about Microsoft’s long-awaited Windows 10 Snapdragon laptops have emerged, and we’ve got all the details.

Tech giants have descended on Hong Kong this week for Qualcomm’s annual 5G Summit, and one of the most noteworthy names in attendance is Microsoft – and Trusted Reviews, of course.

The good news is that representatives from Microsoft have spent some time waxing lyrical to press about the upcoming roster of Windows 10 laptops powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile chips.

These laptops were announced back in December 2016, and will offer the full Windows 10 experience, but will run on the Snapdragon 835 chipset. Yes, that’s exactly the same mobile processor that powers flagship smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG V30, and OnePlus 5.

Here are four things we’ve learned from Microsoft at the Qualcomm 5G Summit.


1. They’re still coming in December

Last year, Microsoft announced that the laptops would be coming before the end of 2017, but we’ve heard very little since.

The good news is that it seems that the laptops will indeed by announced before Christmas. Speaking to press at a roundtable event, Don McGuire, VP of Global Product Marketing for Qualcomm said: “In December last year, [we] set a timeline for one year out, that we would be able to announce devices. We are still moving towards that timeline.”

He continued: “I think that expectation will be met. You’ll be hearing more from us over the next coming weeks regarding that.”

Related: Windows 10 review

2. Microsoft is already testing ‘hundreds’ of devices

Given the imminent launch, it’s no surprise that there are already “hundreds” of Snapdragon-powered laptops being tested at Microsoft HQ.

Pete Bernard, Principal Group Program Manager for Connectivity Partners at Microsoft, said to press: “We’ve been on this journey for almost a year. We’ve been working furiously in Redmond and with our partners in San Diego.”

Bernard went on: “We have hundreds of these devices being used on a daily basis in Redmond.”

3. They’ll have multi-day battery life

Given the lofty claims we’ve been hearing about battery life on the laptops, we asked Bernard for specifics.

He told Trusted Reviews that although the final numbers aren’t in, the battery life is “really, really good”.

“To be frank, it’s actually beyond our expectations,” he said. “We set a high bar for [our developers], and we’re now beyond that. It’s the kind of battery life where I use it on a daily basis. I don’t take my charger with me. I may charge it every couple of days or so. It’s that kind of battery life.”

Bernard added: “I would consider it a game-changer in terms of the way people have experienced PCs in the past.”

4. There might be cheaper versions…eventually

Although there are only three manufacturing partners – HP, Asus, and Lenovo – on board right now, that’s probably going to change. Both Microsoft and Qualcomm hinted that we’ll see more devices from partners down the line, and suggesting that we may see differing price points too.

“Over time, there’s going to be a portfolio of devices from manufacturers. We’ve had some conversations with other OEMs too, for future devices, that are very exciting about bringing their own spin,” said Bernard.

He added that he hopes there will be “a range of different devices at different price points”.

Windows 10

Regarding the chips being made available for the Windows 10 Snapdragon program, McGuire said: “We are starting with [the Snapdragon] 835, and I think what you’ll see from us as we roll out our next-generation platforms, we’ll be rolling those out strategically…with mobile PC in mind.”

“You’ll see an evolved roadmap with mobile PCs in it more definitively than in the past. You’ll see an evolution of different tiers of devices,” he continued.

However, he added that Windows 10 laptops wouldn’t be retrofitted with existing Qualcomm chips, other than the Snapdragon 835: “As far as backward, we’re not going to look backward.”

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