A few weeks ago I co-wrote an editorial on Notebookcheck about the disappointing debut of Windows 10 on ARM (WoA). In short, my chief complaints about Windows 10 on ARM were as follows:
- Performance is nowhere near as was advertised.
- OpenGL and 64-bit x86 apps are incompatible.
- The devices are noncompetitive at their price points.
- Battery life is decent, but not good enough to make up for the above shortfalls.
Microsoft recently released an SDK for compiling 64-bit apps for WoA to help address issue #2, but the biggest issue with WoA devices remains: sluggish performance for non-ARM-compiled apps. However, entries of a yet-unnamed Lenovo WoA device based on the Snapdragon 845 have just surfaced on Geekbench, a popular (if basic) benchmark, and the preliminary results look promising. The unknown device shows significant performance gains over the Snapdragon 835-powered Asus NovaGo TP370QL.
Lenovo’s 845-based device is hitting a single-core and multi-core score of 1353 and 4288, respectively, as compared to the NovaGo’s scores of 819 and 3278. The performance increase shows the Snapdragon 845 being as much as 40% faster than the 835, but it’s important to note that the Lenovo device is being overclocked to 2.96 GHz as well. Additionally, while 40% is a big increase, the final performance of the device is still far, far behind all but the lowest-end x86 chips — Liliputing notes that the Snapdragon 845 running WoA is closest in performance to an Intel Pentium N4200.
WoA devices still have a long way to go before the downsides are effectively remedied for the average consumer, and I don’t think the Snapdragon 845 will make WoA devices viable yet. However, it is heartening to see the step-by-step improvements the platform needs starting to be made by manufacturers. It’s just a hunch, but it’s possible we may start to see more market-competitive WoA devices by Q4 of this year.
What do you think about Windows 10 on ARM? Will you consider purchasing a Snapdragon 845-powered device? If not, what improvements need to be made before you are willing to try one as your main device? Let us know in the comments.