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Microsoft’s betting big on AI-powered laptops. Will it pay off?

Microsoft has unveiled its Copilot Plus PCs initiative, which aims to put AI front and center on Windows laptops, with 40 AI models and dedicated neural processor units (NPUs) to power them.

Colorful tablet and laptop showcasing Copilot+PC software.
Image: KnowTechieImage: KnowTechie

Microsoft has a bold new vision for the future of laptops—and it’s all about AI, baby!

The company just unveiled its “Copilot Plus PCs” initiative, which aims to put artificial intelligence front and center on Windows laptops. But will this ambitious push pay off, or is it just a bunch of hype?

First, the basics: Copilot Plus PCs are Windows laptops loaded with AI features and dedicated neural processor units (NPUs) to power them.

These aren’t just any laptops, though – Microsoft’s lined up all its major partners (think Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, HP, Acer, and Asus) to offer Copilot Plus PCs, so we’re talking widespread adoption here. You can find a complete list of them on Microsoft’s website.

In a surprise move, Microsoft is also launching two Surface laptops that showcase the tech.

Microsoft introduces the Surface Pro with Copilot+ PC

Surface Pro, Copilot+ PC
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KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

So what makes these laptops so special? For starters, they’ll run over 40 AI models as part of Windows 11, enabling all sorts of fancy features.

One of the headliners is “Recall,” which Microsoft claims will give you a searchable “photographic memory” of everything you’ve done on your PC.

But here’s the thing: these AI smarts won’t be limited to a few select laptops. Microsoft says that all kinds of processors—Intel, AMD, you name it—will support these features.

And in a move that could be a game-changer for Windows laptops, the company’s making a big bet on Arm-based chips, which could finally deliver the battery life users have been craving. We’re talking up to 15 hours of web browsing, folks.

These laptops are not cheap

Tablet ad with specifications and pre-order prices.
Image: KnowTechie

Of course, all this AI goodness comes at a cost. Copilot Plus PCs will need at least 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and an NPU to run the show. That’s a step up from your average laptop spec-wise.

However, Microsoft promises these machines will be 58% faster than a MacBook Air with an M3 processor, so maybe that extra oomph will be worth it.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement. Microsoft’s execs are talking about this being a whole new era for Windows laptops, and it’s easy to see why.

The shift to Arm-based chips (which Microsoft has tried and failed to achieve before) could be a major differentiator. If the AI features work as promised, they could make Windows laptops even more compelling.

But let’s not forget—this is all still pretty experimental.

We’ll have to see how these laptops perform in the real world and whether the AI features are actually useful or just gimmicks. Microsoft has a lot riding on this, so fingers crossed they can pull it off.

Surface Pro, Copilot+ PC

The Microsoft Surface Pro 11th Edition features Copilot+ integration, enhancing productivity with AI-driven tools. Enjoy seamless performance with 11th Gen Intel processors and a versatile high-resolution touchscreen that functions as both a laptop and tablet.

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KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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