Microsoft is once again trying to break new ground with a different take on Windows, following on efforts like Windows Phone, Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows 10S and now Windows 10X.

What all those solutions have in common is an attempt to appeal to consumers with a new vision of Windows which is more pleasant to use than the legacy version.  We expect to see the first expression of this vision in the Surface Neo, Microsoft’s dual-screen folding PC.

Intel however recently revealed the processor the hybrid tablet/laptop will be running, and the news is not encouraging.

Intel confirmed the Surface Neo will be running their new Tremont CPU architecture, which is an upgrade to the Goldmont Plus architecture from 2017, most commonly found in low-end tablets and Chromebooks from Chuwi and the like. Sure, Tremont is expected to be 30% faster, but that still places it well behind the Core i5 level chips such as the Snapdragon 865 processor the Surface Duo is expected to ship with, or the Core i7 level A14 processor the iPad Pro 2020 will likely feature.

These are of course not just empty benchmarks – it is expected to impact how rapidly apps launch, how well web apps in particular work, and how responsive the operating system in general is.

A bad user experience killed Windows RT, and has hobbled the success of Windows 10 in ARM so far.  Microsoft’s new operating system may very well be equally hamstrung by bad hardware even before it left the starting blocks.

Update:

We want to provide more clarity on the above post. Surface Neo will be powered by Lakefield hybrid CPU architecture that combines “Tremont” cores described above with a performance focused “Sunny Cove” core that is already found in 10th gen Intel Core processors. Basically, Intel is trying is create a hybrid of Atom and Core processors to improve performance and battery life. So, you can expect the performance of Surface Neo to fall anywhere between current generation Surface Go and Surface Pro. As already mentioned above, the next generation iPad Pro and Surface Pro devices will be more powerful than the Surface Neo for sure.

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