Google just launched a faster, more efficient Chrome browser for Windows, but there’s a catch

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Kyle Kucharski/ZDNET

Google has released a new version of its Chrome web browser that is compatible with Windows PCs powered by ARM-based  Snapdragon CPUs. That includes the newly announced Copilot+ models during Microsoft’s Surface event. This release, first unveiled in late March, is fully optimized for the new hardware and OS, so browsing should be faster and smoother. 

Also: Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Laptop are the ultimate ‘AI PCs’, and I’m worried for Apple

“The new version of Google Chrome will help cement Snapdragon X Elite’s role as the premiere platform for Windows computing starting in mid-2024,” Qualcomm president and CEO Cristiano Amon said in March. Now, the hardware-software integration potential can be fully realized.

Currently, there are several Snapdragon X Elite laptops on the market, available for preorder starting today, including the Microsoft Surface Pro and Laptop, HP’s OmniBook X, and Samsung Galaxy Book 4 Edge. You can expect more availability during the second half of the year.

The X Elite’s specifications list 12 Oryon cores that, according to Qualcomm, should double the performance of Intel’s 13th-gen Core i7-1360P and i7-1355U. Qualcomm also claims the X Elite offers about 68% less power consumption, which should translate to a big improvement in battery life. And with up to 45 Trillions of Operations Per Second (TOPS), the Hevagon NPU AI Engine fixed within the Snapdragon chip is expected to greatly improve AI experiences from on-device to cloud levels. We’ll have to see how the chipset fares in real-world testing, of course.

Also: 3 AI features coming to Copilot+ PCs that I wish were on my MacBook

The new ARM-based version of Chrome also includes the browser’s generative AI feature, Help Me Write, which helps you start writing or refine something you’ve already written. Users will also have access to thousands of Chrome extensions and themes.

Although there are still limited options for ARM-based Windows PCs, Google is probably betting on that number increasing over the coming years. You can download the ARM-based version of Chrome right now.


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