The days of Windows and Intel walking mostly in lockstep may be coming to an end. Two high-profile new PCs this year have been announced using Arm processors, similar to the ones that power modern smartphones. They join a small handful of Arm-plus-Windows machines from the past two years.
The Samsung Galaxy Book S claims to offer 23 hours of active battery life, while the Surface Pro X uses the phrase "all-day battery." If you look at the fine print, it reads, "Up to 13 hours of battery life based on typical Surface device usage."
Microsoft Surface Pro X
The new 13-inch Surface Pro X uses a custom version of a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, called the SQ1 Arm chip. The X has slim bezels and is closer in size to a 12-inch device, and weighs just 1.68 pounds. Its stylus is a special slim version of the Surface Pen and fits into a charging dock in the keyboard cover. Yes, since it's a Surface, the keyboard and stylus are sold separately. Adding both will cost you an extra $269.
Samsung Galaxy Book
The Galaxy Book S runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, similar to the ones found in many phones, rather than a standard Intel CPU. This should allow very long battery life, even using an always-on 4G LTE connection. It has more of a traditional clamshell design, rather than being a 2-in-1 tablet. Sure, it's less flexible, but for the same $999 starting price, you won't have to buy an add-on keyboard.
The first wave of Arm-powered laptops from a couple of years ago didn't especially impress us. Battery life in the Asus NovaGo and HP Envy x2 (both tested in 2018) ran about 12 hours each. Excellent, but not the 20-plus hours promised, and prices weren't low enough to offset that.