Exclusive Features of Copilot Plus PCs: Are They Worth It? - Episode 330 - Show Notes

Exclusive Features of Copilot Plus PCs: Are They Worth It? - Episode 330

Sunday Jul 7, 2024 (00:24:59)

Description

Copilot+ PCs are a new line of laptops that have recently been released, featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon X processors and running Windows. These PCs come with exclusive features that are not available on other Windows devices with Intel or AMD processors. Avram discussed these exclusive features and their functionalities.

Exclusive features on Copilot+ PC

One of the exclusive features on Copilot+ PCs is Recall, which allows users to have a digital perfect memory. This feature has been advertised by Microsoft in recent days, although it has been delayed indefinitely. Recall is designed to constantly spy on users and remember their digital activities, providing a unique and potentially controversial functionality.

Another exclusive feature on Copilot+ PCs is Cocreator, which is integrated into Microsoft Paint. Cocreator is a tool that assists users in drawing by providing prompts and suggestions. For example, users can draw a simple line and then prompt the tool to generate ideas, such as a cat driving a car. While this feature may not be groundbreaking, it adds a fun and interactive element to the drawing experience on these devices.

Windows on ARM technical achievement

Additionally, Avram discusses the technical achievements of Windows on ARM, specifically in terms of performance and battery life. The Snapdragon processors in these laptops are said to be on par with an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor and offer good battery life, although not groundbreaking. While the performance and battery life of these laptops are commendable, they may not necessarily be a selling point for consumers, especially given the higher price point compared to Intel and AMD processors.

Furthermore, he highlights the compatibility of Windows on ARM with x86 software, although there are still some compatibility issues with certain games. The podcast suggests that while Windows on ARM is a technical achievement in terms of compatibility and performance, it may not be a necessary purchase for consumers, especially considering the upcoming advancements in Intel and AMD processors.

In conclusion, Windows on ARM is seen as a technical achievement in terms of performance, battery life, and compatibility with x86 software. However, the limited offline functionality and higher price point compared to traditional processors may make it a less appealing option for consumers. Moving forward, it will be important for Microsoft and Qualcomm to continue improving compatibility and performance to make Windows on ARM a more competitive option in the market.

Snapdragon laptops have competition coming

One key point mentioned is the upcoming release of new AMD and Intel laptops with faster NPUs. This indicates that competition in the market is increasing, and consumers will have more options to choose from. Additionally, the possibility of laptops powered by different ARM CPUs in the future could lead to more affordable options for consumers.

Avram also highlights the challenges faced in testing local AI workloads on Snapdragon laptops due to the limitations of Qualcomm's developer center. This indicates that there is still room for improvement in terms of compatibility and performance with certain workloads. However, the potential for faster transcription, image generation, and recognition tasks on Snapdragon processors shows promise for future advancements.

Conclusion: A step forward for ARM without much benefit

The end result is that the advancement of Windows on ARM is a positive one for the technology. Improved battery life and application compatibility make the hardware a more attractive possibility than previous iterations. However, the benefits of Copilot+ PCs is undercut by the fact that the exclusive features are not that interesting or missing entirely.

Participants

Scott Ertz

Host

Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Avram Piltch

Host

Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.

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