Windows 10 laptops could use some of the best smartphone tech to beat Apple’s M1 MacBooks

woman using a laptop
(Image credit: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock)

It’s fair to say that Windows 10 on ARM laptops have struggled to make any kind of impact since their launch, but that could all change with rumors emerging that upcoming laptops could come with a new chip by Qualcomm, bringing the kind of power and performance we’ve started to see in some of the best smartphones in the world.

Windows 10 on ARM laptops use hardware similar to those found in smartphones, particularly ARM-based processors, which are supposed to offer some of the best mobile phone features, including fast boot times, long battery lives and always-on cellular internet connections, but previous devices have failed to impress due to high price tags and disappointing performance.

These failures have been even more embarrassing after Apple released new MacBook laptops (along with a new Mac mini) running on its own ARM-based M1 chips to great acclaim.

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) and MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) managed to achieve what Windows 10 on ARM devices haven’t, namely excellent performance, long battery lives and decent prices.

However, as Windows Latest has reported, it looks like Windows 10 on ARM devices could be more competitive thanks to the rumored Snapdragon 7c Gen2 chip coming to some laptops.

Specs appeal

According to the rumors, the Snapdragon 7c Gen2 for Windows 10 will have a 64-bit processor with seven cores and an overall maximum clock speed of 2.7Ghz.

It appears that this chip will be similar to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 775, which is rumored to be coming to flagship Android handsets.

Crucially, it looks like the new chip will bring not just a performance boost to Windows 10 on ARM devices that feature it, but will also allow these devices to be more affordable – two of the biggest complaints about existing Windows 10 on ARM laptops.

The fact that Apple’s M1 laptops don’t come with cellular internet support – so you can’t plug in a SIM card to get instant internet access – means these new Windows 10 on ARM laptops could even come with an advantage over the new MacBooks.

We don’t know much more about the rumored Snapdragon 7c Gen2 chip, nor have we heard anything about any potential laptops running it.

However, if these rumors are true, then we could finally see Windows 10 on ARM laptops that finally live up to their potential. Apple has shown that it’s possible to make great laptops on ARM hardware, and we’d love to see some Windows 10 devices do the same.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.