Windows 10 on a Snapdragon 835!

– Hey guys, this is Austin This is the Google Pixel 2, one of the most advanced smartphones on sale today and it's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor

Now this laptop beside me is also powered by that same mobile processor And that actually is kind of a big deal You guys might remember the original Microsoft Surface Now, it was powered by Windows RT, a specific version of Windows 8 that was meant to run on ARM processors, which are typically found in your phone Now, there are some advantages here, mostly with battery life, but also some smaller things like being able to have quicker standby time

However, the biggest issue was, was that it didn't run normal Windows apps Which, as you guys might know, is kind of important for a Windows computer Now, yes, you could run stuff from the Windows store, but, well, no one wants to do that However, on the Surface, this looks to be a much better execution of that whole idea And yes, I said Surface

That was a bad joke, wasn't it? This is the HP Envy X2, the very first in the next generation of Window's PC's They're gonna be powered by Snapdragon processors Now, what makes these interesting is, they actually do run Windows apps, which is very important, although it is with some caveats But with promises of 20 plus hours of battery life, it might be worth the trade off Take a look at the specs and it's gonna look a little bit different

So it's powered by that Snapdragon 835, and it's backed up with four gigs of ram and 128 gigs of storage You know, the almost identical specs that you would find on a smartphone What makes this kind of interesting is that even though it is in a tablet form factor, a lot of these Snapdragon PC's are going to be full fledged laptops But because it's being powered by a phone processor, as you can imagine, it's going to be a little bit thinner and a little bit quieter, or, well, a lot quieter than pretty much any other laptop out there And so we see how to navigate the Windows start screen which is useful, as well as a bit of foam

But the real star of the show is the laptop, and, wow, that's super, super thin Wow That actually looks pretty cool So this is very similar to something like the Surface and the idea that pretty much everything is going to be in the tablet section but it does come with a keyboard which should be right here So this is a little bit of a different design

So it's almost more like a case for the laptop which just happens to have your keyboard as well as the track pad But when you actually put the whole thing together, it snaps on here, and then I think we can just fold it back? Ya So we get an adjustable kickstand, and, ya, that kinda looks like a Surface Also included is going to be a stylus Again, kinda similar to the Surface, although the Surface actually I don't even think comes with a stylus anymore

But, as you expect with something like this it is going to be a full touch screen device And that looks, again, exactly like the Surface Last but not least, you're also going to be getting the power cable which, thankfully, is going to be USPC Sorry, not last but not least, there's also a USBC to USBA dongle Does this actually have any USB ports? That would be a no

Uh, okay So, this PC is going to be a little bit different from most Now again, the Snapdragon PC's will be available in normal sort of laptop form factors And once you actually get into Windows you'll find that, well, it looks exactly like Windows 10 Now it does have some limitations because it is using a Snapdragon processor, but, on the other hand, one of the big advantages here is that we actually do have built in LTE

So, if a slide a sim card in here, what we're getting here is essentially, well, exactly what you'd expect with your smartphone The idea is because the Snapdragon 835 has LTE and all the radios and stuff built in, it's as simple as adding a couple antenna, putting a sim card slot, and you have a PC, that in theory, can be completely connected all the time At least when it comes to initial impressions, the performance is pretty good on this guy Just normal day to day stuff feels snappy This guy ships running Windows 10S

Now that's fine, but I think pretty much everyone's going to want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, which is going to allow you to run third party apps that are from outside the Windows store Now the issue here is that while this will run most apps, it's not going to run everything It's needs to be at the very least an X86 app, so no 64 bit stuff, and as far as driver support, this actually doesn't support standard Windows drivers You do need to get specific RM drivers which, at this point, are basically non existent However, for most games, most apps, most programs, they're at least going to work somewhat on here out of the box

Benchmarking the MV is going to be a little bit difficult So while it will run standard Windows apps that are X86 based such as Gatebench 4, the issue is that it's running it in a compatibility mode Now it means that it will work but your not going to be getting that full performance And you can see that in the numbers So take a look at the scores compared to a Snapdragon 835 phone which is running on native code

You're seeing that you're getting a little bit less than half the standard performance It's fine, but you do notice a slowdown But, keep in mind that that's running in the X86 compatibility mode, basically the lowest performance option that you can get on this computer If an app such as Gatebench is recompiled with Snapdragon in mind, you're probably going to be getting much similar performance to that what you actually get on android However, all that being said, you have to keep in mind, that while it's not going to be crazy high end, you're getting pretty decent specs here

I mean, that Snapdragon 835 is going to give you eight cores, four gigs of ram It's no slouch One area of this is really newsable is when it comes to browsers So Microsoft's Edge is natively compiled to work specifically on Snapdragon processors So when you're on the web, everything feels snappy, it feels pretty much one to one like it would on your phone or pretty much any other laptop

However, download a third party browser, such as Chrome or Opera, and things are noticeably slower Run a quick Java script benchmark like Octane 20 and you can see that Edge absolutely destroys Opera's performance Now part of that is, of course, due to the fact that there's some slight differences between how Edge and Opera perform, but running in that compatibility mode, while it will get an app to actually run on this guy, really does mean it's going to take a big hit to the performance For me, the difference is enough that I would rather use Edge over any kind of third party browser

I think even beyond the benchmarks, you're really going to get something that is going to be noticeably slower when you do install something like Chrome or Opera that just wasn't designed with this in mind It works, but just not very fast But we do have the compatibility mode for a reason, and in theory, games will work Although, the idea of how well they work is probably a little bit questionable when you consider that this is a phone processor running an emulator for Windows apps that is, ya, let's just try it First up, I wanna give CS Go a try

As a slightly older game, it has the best chance of actually being able to run on such a low end processor Like, and I say low end, I mean obviously you can play some pretty nice looking games on a android, but Windows is a little bit more challenging Your graphics hardware does not support all the features needed to run this game Okay Not a great start

Let's try something else Hey, okay, so now we have Rocket League Now this is a game that, again, should in theory be able to be run on some sort of Snapdragon class hardware Now the main question though is how the actual GP drivers are going to work, because this looks like normal, oh, wow, that's slow It's like slow Rocket League

It might work though I'm not really entirely clear on how Microsoft is getting an X86 Windows app to run natively on an RM processor, so it seems like they're doing something to be able to actually maybe emulate it, Or I don't know if it's some kind of hypervisor or something but this actually looks like it might work Now what's interesting to me is the idea that That's totally going to go in, great Good job guys What's really interesting to me is the idea that this is definitely something that can be improved with software Obviously there's going to be a limit on what a processor like the Snapdragon is capable of, but the idea that I'm actually playing a proper PC game here, fully through emulation or whatever they're doing to actually make it work, is impressive Although, maybe not the greatest experience in the world

Next, I wanna try a game that actually should run on Snapdragon The Windows 10 edition of Minecraft Now the big difference between this and the Steam games I was trying earlier is the idea that the Steam games, well, the just were never meant to run on this kind of hardware, whereas this is something that actually I believe has actually been optimized to run on an RM processor If it hasn't, I can't tell cause the performance is pretty much on point To be fair, I don't think anyone is going to pick up a Snapdragon powered PC with the intent of turning it into a gaming computer

Now, there are a few things to keep in mind First of all, this is the very first system that's shipping, so there's almost certainly going to be some more optimization and the idea that this is going to be a pretty small and lightweight system that is able to actually do all this emulation is impressive However, that being said, even in standard apps, the performance just isn't as good as it should be You can definitely tell the difference between a native app and something that's going to be emulated It's good, but there's more work to be done

There are definitely some advantages with going with a Snapdragon PC though One of the easiest ones to spot is going into sleep So with an Intel system, usually it takes a few seconds between when you close the lid, wait for it to go to sleep, open it up Whereas with this, it's like a phone You hit the power button, it goes to sleep

Hit it again, it wakes up It's much, much faster Having built in LTE is nice as well I think that's going to be a huge selling point for a ton of people And all Snapdragon PC's, this as well as some of the laptops, are going to have it ready

So all you do is drop a sim card in and it's going to be up and running And it's nice to be able to always be connected between LTE and wifi Now that being said, I'm actually not a huge fan of the MVX 2's design in particular For me, the tablet stuff, it's nice, but it's not that much smaller than just a normal 13 inch laptop But thankfully, there are going to be Snapdragon laptops as well

Probably the biggest selling point is going to be the battery life So HP claims up to 22 hours of use on a charge, or 1000 hours of connected standby, which for a PC is totally crazy Now that's mostly thanks to the idea that the Snapdragon processor is usually found in phones and I mean, even something that's going to be this small is going to give you much, much larger battery than any phone will However, all that being said, I haven't tested it yet so I don't know exactly how long it's going to last, but, if it gets anywhere close to those numbers it is going to be a game changer A Snapdragon PC makes a lot of sense for someone who wants an always connected computer that can run Windows apps, albeit a little bit slowly, and has solid battery life

Now with the HPMVX 2, it's a good system, but for me, it's hard to justify the 1000 dollar price tag If it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 or 800 dollars I think I would be fine with it But considering that it's going to be a little bit unoptimized right now, it's very expensive, and it doesn't even have the Snapdragon 845 yet, which I'm sure is going to be coming soon, it's kind of hard to recommend That being said, I think there's a lot of potential in Snapdragon PC's So, what do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below and I will catch you in the next one

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