While Microsoft’s ill-fated Windows Mobile/Phone project whimpered out into oblivion, the spark of mobility was never truly snuffed out. Qualcomm announced its latest Snapdragon 845 mobile chipset at its Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii at the close of 2017, and alongside it a new crop of Windows machines running on the older Snapdragon 835 CPU. These processors are built on 10 nm ARM architecture and promise better battery life, better background task management and, crucially, remove the need for complex start procedures.
Qualcomm is beating its chest about 25-hour battery life and instant on, which will finally bring Windows machines in line with what iPad users have enjoyed for the last few years. That said, these devices will launch with the Windows Store-locked Windows 10 S, but can be upgraded to full Windows 10. Having all those benefits on a full desktop operating system is quite amazing.
On the actual hardware side comes the HP Envy X2, a reboot of the Spectre X2 tablet and keyboard combination, and the Asus NovaGo, which kind of looks like a standard Asus convertible. Lenovo is also part of the initial roll out with more clarity coming at CES, which is happening as this magazine hits the shelves.
Our advice until then? Wait for the Snapdragon 845-powered devices that will come with the future-facing X20 modem and its 1,2 GB/s download speeds. The 5G dream is still a long way down the road with even Qualcomm pegging it for end of 2019; Gigabit LTE is more than sufficient until then. Yes, you buy laptops like you buy smartphones now: expecting obsolescence within 14 months.