Microsoft’s Copilot+ PC brand heralds a “new era” in personal computing — here’s why we’re excited

Promotional material from Microsoft showcasing the Copilot+ AI PC branding with new AI-powered laptop.
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has cut the ribbon on a new category of 'Copilot+' PCs that are specifically designed for AI workloads. 

PCs with the new Copilot+ branding will be released in the next few weeks, with devices coming from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung, as well as an all-new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, launching on 18 June.

The Copilot+ branding has a similar feel to Google’s Chromebook Plus label in that it's attributed to machines with a specific set of specifications. All Copilot+ PCs will have a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) at their core, with new Qualcomm chips – the Snapdragon X Plus and X Elite – powering a range of on-device AI tools.

Essentially, these will be edge devices with data processed on the laptops in real-time, as well as in connection with the cloud.

Qualcomm’s group GM Alex Katouzain called it a “new era for the PC” and suggested the capabilities of the AI-enabled PCs would redefine personal computing.

“We’re proud to enable this industry shift, which puts Windows PCs at the forefront of technology and allows users to push the boundaries of what’s possible across productivity, creativity, and entertainment,” Katouzain said.

Copilot+ PCs look to supercharge user productivity

On 18 June, a flurry of Copilot+ laptops will be available, with new models of Microsoft Surface among the first wave – a Surface Laptop with either a 13.8in or 15in display and a 2-in-1 Surface Pro. 

Preorders are also available for Acer’s new Swift 14 AI notebook, the ASUS Vivobook S 15, and two new HP models, the OmniBook X AI PC and the EliteBook Ultra AI PC. 

However, the key question here, for any of these models, and also any NPU-enabled device that has come before it, is what exactly will you use all this AI for?

Microsoft's new Copilot+ Surface devices pictured side by side.

Microsoft's new Copilot+ Surface devices will arrive on shelves in June (Image credit: Microsoft)

Generative AI has become a disruptive technology in that it is literally changing how PCs are being built and used. There is also an ominous feeling that ‘creative’ work has been disproportionately affected by the sudden flood of AI tools into our devices. 

But what can users do with these new Copilot+ machines, and what will their bosses actually allow them to do?

The easiest answer here is that ‘generating’ work, like an entire email, is probably going to be frowned upon. But the tools that help optimize machine performance and improve the experience clearly have a direct benefit to IT bosses and, ultimately, businesses.

For example, Acer’s Swift 14 will come with a dedicated ‘AcerSense’ button that can launch tools to enhance video and audio quality. Newer models of Dell’s XPS will sport services that can help users diagnose their own IT problems – a definite timesaver for overstretched IT teams.


One of the features announced by Microsoft is ‘Recall’, which is a log of everything you’ve done on the laptop, going back several months.

If you need to find something, but can only remember the barest of details, Recall can access almost everything you’ve seen on your computer – web pages, random folders, or throw-away documents – and present them to you as screenshots in a timeline.

What’s more, all this information stays locally on the device, in ‘ringfenced’ folders, according to Microsoft.

While generative AI grabs the headlines, AI PCs are quietly bringing about tools and processes that make it easier for workers and their IT bosses. 

Laptops that can self diagnose problems, improve video conferencing quality, and organize themselves represent an exciting - and, crucially, a more productive - future for all. 

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.