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Qualcomm thinks Qualcomm-powered laptops are too expensive

It seems like even Qualcomm recognizes that Snapdragon Windows laptops have had a pricing problem.

Published onJanuary 5, 2022

Microsoft Edge Chromium Surface Pro X
  • A Qualcomm executive has criticized the “inadequate” pricing of early Windows on Arm devices.
  • Windows laptops using top-end Snapdragon PC silicon have generally retailed for $1,000 or more.

Qualcomm and Microsoft beat Apple to the punch by several years with Windows on Arm laptops back in 2018, offering a full-fledged Arm-based PC experience. However, these laptops have generally suffered from disappointing performance and expensive price tags.

Now, a Qualcomm executive has indeed criticized the pricing of early Windows on Arm laptops in an interview with (h/t: MSPowerUser).

“One of the points that we were not satisfied with with the early devices was the inadequate pricing (sic),” Qualcomm senior director of product management Miguel Nunes told the outlet.

A track record of high pricing?

We don’t disagree either, as the Snapdragon 835-toting HP Envy X2, which was part of the first wave of Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 laptops, retailed for a crazy $1,000. There were cheaper devices, such as the $700 ASUS NovaGo, but these devices were definitely the exception.

Even today, those wanting a relatively powerful Snapdragon Windows laptop will typically need to spend $1,000 to $1,600 for devices like the HP Elite Folio, Surface Pro X, and Samsung Galaxy Book S. The situation has improved with the introduction of the Snapdragon 7C line of laptop chips in the last couple of years, resulting in far more reasonably priced Arm-based Windows laptops. But these chips sacrifice a ton of power, exacerbating the performance gap to the likes of Apple.

Do you think Windows on Arm laptops are too expensive?

1103 votes

Nunes also told the outlet that Qualcomm doesn’t control the pricing of these devices. Nevertheless, it should go without saying that a chipset can be a significant contributor to the bill of materials.

Pricing may have also been exacerbated by the push for Arm laptops with cellular connectivity, requiring OEMs to spend money on antennas and other parts. However, the brand-new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 doesn’t have an integrated modem, which hopefully means laptop makers can ship devices without cellular connectivity.

Do you think Windows on Arm laptops are too expensive? Give us your answer via the poll above.

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