About a year or two ago, Qualcomm announced that they will be entering the Laptop market and not just that, but to focus on making ARM Windows machines for general consumers. Now a long while back, we did see devices like Windows RT which did run ARM processors, but it failed miserably. But after Qualcomm’s announcement – they did work with some big brands and fast forward today, we know that they are taking things seriously. Which is why JOI, the Malaysian home grown brand has teamed up with Qualcomm to make their first Mobile Compute Platform Windows Laptop – the JOI Book SK3000 – and here’s what we have to say about it.

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TL; DR

The “JOI” ous Aspect of the Laptop

The JOI Book SK3000 touts an affordable price tag but the laptop sure does have a nice build and overalls going on. It is entirely constructed out of Aluminium, which means you are getting a solid build in and out. The lid is quite on the heavier side, but it wouldn’t bother too much. Since the laptop is fanless, it has a thin profile making it a nice laptop to bring wherever you go and not feel the burden of carrying one. As for the ports, you have a decent selection – with a USB-C port that doubles as a Charging Port and a 3.5mm Headphone Jack. If you plan to top up storage, you can do it with the help of the MicroSD Card and the laptop can stay connected to internet with the help of the SIM Slot baked into it.

The laptop uses a 12.5” Full HD IPS Display and it’s a nice to have display because in this price range, certain or most brand tend to save cost on. But the addition of an IPS Display makes this is a sweet sight to behold. Using it solely for productivity work and watching shows are pretty fun as the colors pop and its vivid enough for users to enjoy.

Since it is a laptop, it comes with a Chiclet styled keyboard with properly sized keyboard which I appreciate. And the laptop also comes with a wider trackpad and a nice clicky left and right button place right at the bottom of the laptop – for the most part of it, the experience isn’t too shabby.

Can it run proper applications like on an x86/x64 platform?

One question that revolves around a machine like this is: if it could run “widely” used application on a day-to-day basis. Now this is important because the Qualcomm Mobile Compute Platform under the hood is an ARM Processor and we have seen them work mostly on mobile devices. Not to forget, Windows platform has always heavily depended on x86/x64, respectively. The ARM processor you find is capable of running certain application and for the most part, you will have to resort to the applications that is only made available via the Microsoft Store.

There is a performance difference seen on the JOI Book SK3000 because if you try to launch an x86/x64 app, it wouldn’t run, or it would struggle – due to the complex nature of an application. Its because ARM processors are RISC Processors – they focus on handling simple set of instructions whereas x86/x64 are CISC Processors – they can handle complex set of instructions. But that doesn’t mean the ARM is flawed. Both the ARM and x86/x64 Processors can run on high clock speeds but the best part about ARM is that they are power efficient, and the battery performance is superb. So, what does that mean?

There is hope for ARM after all, thanks to Microsoft.

Yes – here’s why. In order to make this a successful laptop, Microsoft plays a major role too. That said, they are working alongside with Qualcomm to make application run on the ARM processors – in fact, there is a Windows Insider Update that’s being tested where 32/64-bit applications working under ARM with an emulation, which you can click here to read more.

Should you Buy the JOI Book SK3000 then?

Now, trust me when I say this, usually the laptop found in such price ranges are meant to cover the basic ground – that is to do productivity centric work, video calls and perhaps for entertainment. The JOI Book SK3000 does exactly that and if you need one to cover the basic ground – Google Chrome, Office Suite and just that, this is a good laptop to go with – all thanks to the affordable price tag coming in at RM 2,199.

What’s exciting is the fact that we will be seeing Qualcomm laptop from here on and it’s a good competition to look out for. We give the JOI Book SK3000 a Silver Award for the ARM Based Processor which defies the market with better affordable laptop option.