Introducing Windows 10 on ARM: a huge milestone for mobile computing. This is a full version of Windows 10 running on a mobile processor. Can this new mobile and power-efficient hardware compete with traditional laptops.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of using a mobile processor. One: battery-life. If you’re running apps built for ARM then it’s likely that your new tablet or laptop might last for days on a single charge. Imagine your smartphone had a laptop-size battery inside, it would last much longer! One such device is the "Asus NovaGo”, which sports a battery-life capable of up to 22-hours of video playback- which is enough to watch 22 hour-long episodes of your favourite Netflix show, non-stop.
Another beauty of having a mobile processor is the always-on internet. Your phone for example is constantly connected to either a cellular tower or WiFi. It’s the same with devices such as the NovaGo. Asus say that this device is “always-connected” either via 4G/LTE or WiFi. If you have read parts of our “The Future is Wireless” series, then you’ll know how exciting wireless technology can be.
However, the main issue with devices with ARM processors is that they cannot natively run apps that we would consider to be built for a desktop (those that are designed to run on x86 processors). ARM is a totally new instruction-set and is not compatible with desktop-class apps. So, Microsoft came up with a solution: to emulate Win32 programs on ARM. By emulating desktop apps, you can get a very similar experience to if they were running natively, but depending on how processor-intensive they are, they might have less than perfect performance.
So who are these devices for?
Well, if you are looking for a great Windows 10 laptop or tablet, with long battery life and good performance from apps you can find on the Windows 10 store, such as Microsoft Office then great. But if you need to run a wide variety of desktop apps, then maybe its worth looking at a traditional laptop. Over time, more apps will be built for ARM processors such as the Snapdragon 835 (which a lot of these devices use) and maybe the x86 emulation will improve. But for now, if you’re on the go a lot, need to be connected to the internet and have great battery-life then devices such as the Asus NovaGo are for you.
We’ll have a guide on picking the perfect laptop for you very soon.