Qualcomm says their Snapdragon processor is so powerful and has so much capability, that it could be used for anything, maybe even to run windows like a PC. And now… it can!
Qualcomm and Microsoft have been working on porting Windows to the Snapdragon for over four years. Every year for the past three years, Qualcomm has shown working prototypes of a Snapdragon-based Windows laptop at Computex and Qualcomm’s annual press and analysts conference. This year the machines have arrived, and Lenovo is one of the first to ship. Best of all, they shipped one to me and I’m typing on it right now. However, before I could write this, I had to set up the machine, load all my apps and tools. Guess what? Except for one, they all loaded and worked (work) perfectly.
The machine is a 13-inch Lenovo Yoga C630, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 that is capable of running up to 2.96 GHz. Our unit was running at 2.75 GHz. The 2-in-1 Yoga C630 came with 8 GB of RAM and a 120 GB SSD. The small drive limited the number of apps we could install, and there is no way a user can upgrade the machine. However, it comes with two USB-C 3.0 ports so all the data storage could be easily moved to an external drive.
The Adreno 630 drives a 13-inch IPS multi-touch 1920 × 1080 display and can accommodate an active pen (optional). There is a front-facing 720p camera.
The always-connected 2-in-1 has 4G/LTE connectivity speeds of up to 1.2 GHz, around 3× to 7× faster than the average broadband connection in most homes. There is a micro SIM slot on the side for a cellular account. And the Yoga C630 DayPlus battery can run the notebook for up to 22 hours on a single charge.
With a fan-less design, the Yoga C630 runs cool and quiet. It's clamshell package has polished metal Iron gray surfaces with a soft tactile feel with stereo speakers located on either side of the keyboard. It is a true thin and light profile, measuring 12.5 mm (0.5-inch) thick and weighs just 1.2 kg (2.64 lbs.). You can get one of these Surface and Chrome challenging notebooks for just $630.
The only app I couldn’t get to load was Egnyte’s desktop Sync. The fail was due to insufficient disc space.
I wanted to run PCMark 10 for a compare against a Dell Latitude 7390. However, PCMark 10 is not designed to work with ARM processors, however, UL does has an unreleased version of PC Mark that will run on ARM-based processors. When this new benchmark is released we will be updating this story.
But, for comparison, the Latitude doesn’t have a cellular modem; it uses a 2.1 GHz Intel i7-8650U and can run for 17 to 19 hours, and sells for $1,380 (on Amazon). The price point is similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro. Lenovo’s 14-inch Chromebook with an FHD screen sells for $386. So, the C630 spans the range of 2-in-1s and brings always-connected to the party at half the cost of machines with less battery life and no always-connect feature.
Lenovo says the device only supports pens that support MPP.
The next step is to take this little jewel on the road and see how rugged it is, but for right now in the safety and comfort of the lab, it is one sweet machine and highly recommended.