Windows on Arm puts Intel on notice

Microsoft’s first round of Copilot Plus PCs launched last week with the promise of better battery life, performance that matches a MacBook Air, and chips ready for AI. I’ve spent the past week testing both of Microsoft’s new Surface devices, and I think they largely live up to Microsoft’s promises.

There are some expected app emulation drawbacks here and there. But for the most part, if you don’t have complex app needs, these new Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite and Plus chips deliver the Windows on Arm experience that Microsoft has been promising for more than a decade. They also put a lot of pressure on Intel to respond.

I’ve been most impressed with the battery life on the $999.99 base model of the Surface Laptop during my testing. There have been times I’ve used it for the entire workday and never worried about having to charge. I’ve closed the lid and, days later, woken the Surface Laptop to find it hadn’t drained the battery life down to zero. I’ve never been confident enough to do that with an Intel-powered laptop.

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