Assorted thoughts on Windows ARM, starring the Lenovo 10W

I don't own any desktops.

Hi. I’m mostly writing this because I just bought a laptop that I don’t think anyone else has ever used, because as far as I can tell it has 0 (0) reviews on the internet. The Lenovo 10w. I kind of like it. And using it for the last week has taught me a number of things - about what I want in a laptop, about Windows on ARM, and about how much laptop is enough.

This is the first time I’ve used a 4GB device in a long time. And it’s limited for sure - but it’s not … as limited as I thought, at least after uninstalling some programs ( works fine for that). I had to look up arm64 builds of everything I want to use, but I did, and it’s reasonably fast after everything is installed. (I am writing this in Visual Studio Code’s Arm64 build, and uploading with the Git Arm64 beta build provided by dennisameling.) Emulation isn’t fantastic, and sometimes breaks horribly or causes severe lag - but for many apps it’s very usable. For instance, I wanted to use Renoise and Reaper, and I can do both without a ton of issues! Through emulated Arm64! And Zebra, Solana, and Transit all work too! I think it’s pretty incredible that I can have a full audio workstation pipeline going.

Discord thankfully can just be run through a web browser. There are enough ARM programs to get by. And most of what I do at this point … can be done through a web browser. (I did buy Leonardo to do some drawing - no emulated app worked well enough for me, and Paint is Paint. So it goes.)

The benefits of ARM … if you haven’t used an M-series Macbook Air, you may not know. But. The battery life and low heat (no fan!) of it is unparalleled. I had a Surface Go 1, and was thinking about getting the Go 4, but I went this route instead, and I don’t regret it - battery life is almost guaranteed to be twice as long here.

I also used to have a Macbook Air M1. And that’s great too - but they’re just different classes of device. I really like how many different vendors you get with Windows - and the relatively larger amount of freedom you get with Windows, too. So Windows is going to bring that to the ARM space, and … it’s exciting, honestly.

People have been skeptical of Windows on ARM being good in 2024. But it’s been very usable for me - I’ve only run into a few weird bugs, and I think if they iron those out … it feels almost ready. And the experience when not working - when just doing stuff - is great. :)

Share: LinkedIn