Concerns Arise Over the Potential MacBook Challenger

For years, MacBooks have maintained their dominance in the laptop market. Despite the commendable qualities of Windows laptops, they have struggled to match MacBooks in terms of efficiency and performance-per-watt. This efficiency has enabled MacBooks to maintain slim profiles, operate quietly, and offer extended battery life without compromising on performance, even when running on battery power.

As we entered 2024, hopes were high for Windows laptops to mount a significant challenge, particularly with the emergence of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X Elite chips. However, recent developments have sparked concerns about the feasibility of this transition.

Sky-High Expectations and Past Struggles

The journey towards ARM-based Windows laptops powered by Qualcomm began in 2017 with the introduction of Always Connected PCs, featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon chips and an ARM version of Windows 10. These devices promised longer battery life and LTE connectivity, enticing users with a glimpse of what future Windows laptops could offer. Despite these promises, manufacturers hesitated to fully embrace the transition due to performance issues and limited software compatibility, resulting in a sparse selection of ARM laptops at high prices.

Qualcomm continued to push the narrative of progress, but tangible improvements were slow to materialize. The disappointment culminated with the Surface Pro X in 2019, which failed to showcase the anticipated benefits of ARM technology and instead underscored ongoing challenges.

Qualcomm’s Leap of Faith

Late last year, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon X Elite chips, boasting superior performance compared to Intel, AMD, and even Apple’s offerings. Initial claims suggested significant gains in CPU and multi-threaded performance, hinting at a potential breakthrough for ARM-based laptops.

Excitement and Doubts

The prospect of these new chips revolutionizing the ARM landscape garnered widespread anticipation, with major laptop manufacturers rallying behind the initiative. However, recent leaks have tempered some of the initial enthusiasm.

Real-world performance tests, including Geekbench 6 scores, showcased impressive results for the Snapdragon X Elite system. While it outperformed Intel counterparts, comparisons against Apple’s M3 processors fell short of earlier promises. The gap in performance, particularly in single-core tasks, raised questions about the chip’s ability to match Apple’s efficiency and power.


Despite these setbacks, optimism remains for the future of ARM-based Windows laptops. The impending end of Qualcomm’s exclusivity with Windows on ARM opens doors for competition from companies like Nvidia and AMD, promising further advancements in the coming years.

In conclusion, while the initial strides towards challenging MacBook dominance are promising, there’s a long journey ahead for Windows laptops to establish themselves as true rivals. The evolution of ARM technology and increased competition will shape the landscape, offering hope for a genuine revolution in the realm of Windows laptops.