Should your next PC be an Always Connected PC?
Always Connected concept is still young
Microsoft's approach to the Always Connected PC concept is still in the early stages, but already we're seeing some incredible hardware be released by partners who are on board with the company's vision. Samsung's Galaxy Book2 is a fine example, coming equipped with a Snapdragon 850 processor (similar to what you'd find inside a smartphone).
The issue we've had with desktop and laptop CPUs is they haven't been anywhere near efficient enough — not even Intel's own laptop-class processors. Only now are we seeing the level of performance and efficiency we've been looking for meet in the middle.
An Always Connected PC is simply a Windows 10 device that supports eSIM and LTE and offers great battery life, regardless of the processor that powers it. It's also capable of instantly turning on when you need it (much like your smartphone) and being ready for the day.
Windows 10 meets solid mobile performance
Performance of a processor in an Always Connected PC will not blow you away but it's more than capable of running Store apps, light software and allowing you to consume media on the go. Microsoft will also force you to use Windows 10 S on Always Connected PCs, meaning you won't be able to install anything that isn't on the Store, unless you upgrade to Windows 10.
This isn't necessarily a drawback since it makes things safer for use in education and it lowers the possibility of something going horribly wrong post-installation.
It's not for everyone, especially if you simply cannot get by with mediocre performance. While I note that there have been considerable improvements made in the processor department for these kinds of devices, they can't compare to mainstream desktop CPUs.
Hold out a little longer
More and more vendors are getting involved with Always Connected PCs and Microsoft will continue the push towards its vision. If none of the current hardware ticks all the boxes, give it some time.
The best Always-Connected PC available right now
If you want great battery life in a premium 2-in-1 form factor that has instant-on and is always connected, you can't go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy Book2 with Windows 10. Thanks to a Snapdragon 850 processor and incredible battery life, this should be a great travel companion.
If you're looking for a small-screened device, the Surface Go is an excellent Always-Connected PC if you opt for the LTE configuration. Featuring a 10-inch screen, the Surface Go is essentially just a smaller Surface Pro, featuring the same beautiful industrial design, kickstand, and keyboard accessories.
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
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