In December, Microsoft and Qualcomm announced a partnership to launch a new generation of "cellular PCs" with ARM-based processors, running the full version of Windows 10. They said that these new devices would be "able to run "x86 Win32 and universal Windows apps, including Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and popular Windows games."
Today, at the Computex 2017 industry expo, the two companies made a further announcement about their plans for the "new category of Always Connected PCs".
Microsoft revealed that ASUS, HP and Lenovo will be the first manufacturers to launch Always Connected Windows 10 devices built on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 'Mobile PC Platform'. "These new devices will feature Windows, always-on LTE connectivity and great battery life," Microsoft said.
Despite Qualcomm's 'Mobile PC' terminology - and the fact that its Snapdragon 835 chip is already built into numerous smartphones, such as Samsung's Galaxy S8, and the HTC U 11 - the Always Connected PCs that were the focus of today's event were notebooks and 2-in-1s, rather than handsets. These "sleek, thin and fanless PCs" aren't going to rival high-end laptops with flagship-class PC processors for performance, but that's not their purpose.
The emphasis is on power efficiency and mobility, with the ability to get online whenever you need to. The compact size of the 835 chipset will enable manufacturers to develop slimmer, lighter products, or to expand battery size to enable users to get through a busy day. Qualcomm claims that buyers should expect around 50% more battery life than they would get on x86 notebooks, and it's also promising standby times that are up to five times longer. Connected Standby will enable users to wake their devices more quickly, while allowing them to stay connected to Wi-Fi and cellular networks when not in use.
With the gigabit LTE support built into the Snapdragon 835 through its X16 modem, users can also expect much faster connectivity on supported mobile networks. Microsoft has also signed up numerous global carrier partners to support its vision for "seamless eSIM connectivity", including Vodafone, AT&T, T-Mobile, and BT/EE.
"We are thrilled that OEMs are sharing our vision to bring the Windows 10 experience to the ARM ecosystem, powered by Qualcomm Technologies," Microsoft's Matt Barlow, corporate vice president for Windows marketing, said today. "This collaboration offers consumers something new and that they have been craving – the best of a mobile computing experience with the best of Windows 10, all in one thin, light, connected device."
You can get a further overview of Windows 10 on the 'Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform' in Qualcomm's video below: