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Snapdragon X laptops might be the only Copilot Plus machines for a while

Though Intel and AMD laptops will be powerful enough to meet criteria for Copilot Plus status, it might not matter.
By

Published onJune 6, 2024

AMD's Lisa Su at Computex.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Microsoft’s Copilot Plus PC program has a list of requirements for eligibility.
  • Although upcoming Intel and AMD laptops will meet those criteria, it doesn’t appear those machines will actually have Copilot Plus approval.
  • It’s possible that Snapdragon X-based laptops will be the only Copilot Plus machines to be launched in 2024.

In May, Microsoft took the wraps off a new program called Copilot Plus PC. This is a new identifier for laptops that meet certain criteria that allow them to support special on-device AI features. Among these criteria are a minimum of 16GB of RAM, 256GB of onboard storage, and a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) capable of at least 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS).

Out of the gate, Microsoft’s own Surface Laptop (7th-gen) and Surface Pro (11th-gen) will be Copilot Plus PCs. These machines run on the Snapdragon X Elite processor, a new Windows on Arm SoC designed to be powerful, battery-efficient, and AI-first. Along with the two Surface machines, there are many more laptops running Qualcomm silicon from half a dozen other OEMs.

Recently, though, Intel and AMD launched new chips, both of which will meet or exceed Copilot Plus PC criteria. However, Microsoft, AMD, and Intel are quite vague about whether and when laptops incorporating these chips will be certified as Copilot Plus PCs.

The Verge tried to get statements from all three companies on this matter. Although all the companies responded, none were very clear about Intel/AMD machines. The only thing we know for sure is that the first wave of both Intel and AMD machines will not be certified as Copilot Plus PCs out of the box. Instead, they will receive free software updates at some point down the line that will bring some of the Copilot Plus PC features. None of the companies would commit to explaining which features might be included nor when the rollout of the updates would happen.

In other words, it could be 2025 before Intel/AMD laptops get Copilot Plus PC features like Recall, Auto Super Resolution, etc.

Intel and AMD were quick to point out, though, that machines running their silicon will have their own unique AI features and that hundreds more are in development.

Also, it should be pointed out that a lack of Copilot Plus PC certification might not be the worst thing in the world. With the negative response to Recall — a program that takes a snapshot of your screen every five seconds — it might be better to have a PC that doesn’t have certain AI features to it until the kinks are worked out.

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