Samsung is reportedly working on a new Windows 10 laptop that would feature both its own Exynos system-on-a-chip and integrated Radeon graphics from AMD. According to ZDNet Korea (opens in new tab), the ARM-based laptop could launch later this year.
The MacBook Pro with M1 and MacBook Air with M1 both show that ARM laptops are ready for prime time, but we’ve yet to see a Windows equivalent with competitive performance. Samsung may be looking to change that by copying Apple’s strategy of building a processor in-house — with a little help from AMD on the graphics side.
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Samsung and AMD’s partnership actually began in 2019, with the apparent intention of bringing AMD’s Radeon graphics tech to Samsung’s smartphones. ZDNet Korea’s report is unconfirmed for now, but it’s easy to see how a laptop SoC with integrated Radeon graphics could come from that partnership. Exynos chips have long been the backbone of Samsung’s phones and tablets, including the most recent Samsung Galaxy S21 (though not in the U.S.).
The report mentioned a brand new SoC for the laptop, named the Exynos 2200. No other specs were included though Samsung will apparently also build the laptop’s display, memory, battery and storage itself. That means it could feature the Samsung OLED laptop screens it launched in January.
It’s worth remembering that such a laptop wouldn’t be Samsung’s first foray into ARM-based Windows 10 notebooks: it’s already dabbled with last year’s Samsung Galaxy Book S. However, that used a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx instead of Samsung’s own processor tech. A more bespoke design could help close the performance gap between current Windows 10 ARM laptops and the enormously powerful M1 MacBooks.
If this laptop is as far into development as the report suggests, expect Samsung to announce it in the second half of 2021. Interestingly, ZDNet Korea also claimed the launch would come after the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 21.