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Thread: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

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    Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoCs in designs by Asus and HP yield 20hr+ active use times.
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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    Looks interesting, a bit higher priced than I'd hoped but in terms of being fanless and that very long battery life that's pretty good for Windows PC.

    The x86/Win32 emulator seems to work well enough for lite duties, hopefully they make the wise decision to allow the compiling of Arm/Win32 desktop software to extract full performance. The emulator should be the fall back option for when Arm native software isn't available.

    UWP supports Arm so in theory the games on the MS Store should have Arm builds too, it will be interesting to see how the Qualcomm GPU handles those what with it being ATI's former mobile division.

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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    Agree that the emulator should be a last resort. I'm very interested in these things. My phone is insanely responsive and far better to use than a budget PC for most of the stuff he mentioned, the limitation being the screen size and HID options. If you can expand that out and make it work with proper MS software then you have something that will do almost everything you would ever want to do with a standard laptop. Hell, my phone is better at video editing than work's cheap PCs which is saying something about the chooch factor of modern SoCs.

    One thing that gets me is the marketing crap above - "Secondly the machines are, as per the name, always connected, offering a fast, safe and secure way to work, collaborate and communicate wherever you are (with cellular coverage)". Uhh, no the best gift you can give to a hacker is to leave your PC on all the time and turn off the screen so you can't see what is going on. If it's always connected then it's potentially very vulnerable and given the target market is likely business, you may put people off with this "feature". Personally, I'd be demanding the device be shut down / networks disconnected when not in use if it were to be used for anything sensitive.

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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    Ok... I was interested in maybe getting one like the HP but why on earth would I pay £1000 (+ extra for pro if it's not free) for it when I can get a perfectly capable tablet and with either mobile data built in or a hotspot for considerably less.

    While I'm sure MS won't let this one suffer as badly as windows rt, you'd think they would want people to buy them and I'll be honest at the prices they're listing, I'd edge towards an intel based machine and a hotspot or even an iPad Pro. Yes the intel one will likely have less battery but there will be no issues with compatibility, which I'm sure this will have because they can't test everything, and it will still likely last the whole 'working day' for me.

    Now a similar spec'd iPad pro would likely be a little more expensive but everything it runs will work without issue and I'd also argue it will have better resale value etc.

    Also on the day these are announced Qualcomm announced the 845 chipset....which should bring a number of improvements etc as it is the direct update to the 835.

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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    These battery life claims are very much in, "I'll believe it when I see it" territory. In absolute perfect conditions perhaps they will achieve this, but in real life, real user conditions I bet the battery life ends up being barely better.

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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    These battery life claims are very much in, "I'll believe it when I see it" territory. In absolute perfect conditions perhaps they will achieve this, but in real life, real user conditions I bet the battery life ends up being barely better.
    Yep there's "20 hours+" and "up to 20 hours" on this page and frankly, is it really 20 hours of real use or pathetic "display so dim you can't see it, all but one low power core disabled" use? If we extrapolate from a mobile phone, I think it's fair to say if they're going for ultra slim you'll get a battery about 4 times the size (going by the same width and depth but longer, spanning nearly the width of the laptop), so that's 12,000mAh. So then we look at how long my phone lasts with constant, active use. That's probably 5 hours. So there's 20 hours, except you have a far bigger screen to power which is the main battery draw. If these things get 15 hours of proper use, I'd be pretty content. You know that with that kind of endurance it'll last all day.

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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    Here are some official links for further information about the HP Envy x2 Detachable and Asus NovaGo Convertible.

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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    So isn't this just Windows RT again but this time they have officially announced the x86 emulator rather than us having to bypass secure boot to run it?

    Good on them for trying again mind - I got a lot of great use out of my Surface RT and it did have stellar battery life and was a great device for using office, web browsing and watching videos. It's main issue will be the price - when you can get a real Surface Pro for similar money and if you go for the low end i5 model its about £800 with 10+ hours battery life..but its an intel based machine.

    They really need to price these a good chunk under the Surface Pro line to get any traction imo - unless the built in LTE is a real dealbreaker for you.

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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    The NovaGo thing is reasonably priced, look at what a phone with similar specs costs.

    I could see this been useful for our sales apes.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    When I read 20 hours constant usage I thought it didn't sound like much for a supposedly low power machine in laptop form factor, but of course thinking about it the majority of power use in mobile devices is other things than the CPU, like screen, WiFi/4G, storage etc. These things are the same in any laptop, so a more frugal CPU can only get you so far, plus it looks like devices are just skimping on battery size - the Asus NovaGo has a 52Wh battery, compared to 60Wh for the similar sized Dell XPS 13 - so much for a small PCB making room inside for bigger batteries. Dell make similar long battery life claims for the XPS 13, which never work in reality.

    The Asus NovaGo is ~1.39Kg, so it's not lighter or smaller than an XPS 13 or other machines in the size class, the screen, RAM, storage etc. are very standard spec, it's not even that much cheaper. I'm struggling to see the attraction, other than perhaps bringing 4G LTE a bit further down the price ladder.

    The use-case also seems a hard sell, I've already got a long battery life, always-on device for quick on the go use - my phone.

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    Re: Microsoft reveals Arm-powered Always Connected PCs

    I guess I can see the appeal for many, especially business, users but personally, I don't particularly want 'always on', and I emphatically, categorically do not want 'always connected'.

    A lot of what I do with computers does not need a net connection, and it is so, so SO much simpler to ensure both privacy and security if a PC, or even an entire network, simply does not have an internet connection. It hugely reduces the chances of virus/malware attack, and the chances of my network being hacked by someone not physically present approximate to, well, zero.

    Similarly, for devices I do use with net access, like this tablet, it gets, oh, probably an hour a day of use, give or take. So ..... if it's connected and 'on' all the time, it's vulnerable 23/24ths of the time, or 95.8%, for the very modest benefit of saving me about 15 seconds of boot time when I need it.

    Also, given my usage pattern, if I turn off when not in use I charge once a week or so, compared to at least daily if I leave it 'on'.

    Always on? Thanks but no. Always connected? Oh hell, no, no way on earth.
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