It’s been more than a year since Chinese PC maker Pipo introduced a Windows 10 tablet with a 12.3 inch display, a detachable keyboard, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor with built-in support for 4G LTE. I’m not sure if the tablet ever went on sale in China, but to the best of my knowledge it wasn’t widely available outside of that country… until recently.

Now you can order Pipo W12 tablet and keyboard cover from AliExpress for about $444 (plus shipping, which brings the price to $477 for customers in the US).

The tablet features a 12.3 inch, 2880 x 1920 pixel IPS LCD touchscreen display, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. It has a buil-in kickstand, a 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera, and support for WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 as well as 4G LTE.

In addition to the detachable keyboard cover, the Pipo W12 works with a battery-powered digital pen with support for 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and up to 200 days of battery life.

Pipo says the tablet measures 11.4″ x 10″ x 0.35″ and weighs about 1.74 pounds.

But the most noteworthy thing about this tablet is that it’s one of only a handful of Windows tablets powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and one of the first that doesn’t come from a big name PC vendor like Lenovo, Asus, Samsung, or Microsoft.

That said, it’s featuring an older Snapdragon processor that was released in 2018 as Qualcomm’s first chip designed specifically for Windows devices… but which was basically just a slightly more powerful version of the Snapdragon 845 processor that powered flagship Android phones released that year.

Qualcomm has released several newer chips that offer stronger performance since then… and Windows on ARM devices still have a reputation for being sluggish, especially when running Windows applications that haven’t been compiled specifically for ARM architecture.

So on the one hand, I wouldn’t expect the Pipo W12 to be a speed demon. But on the other, it’s a much more affordable device than most of the other Window son ARM tablets that have been released in recent years, so it might not be the worst option for someone looking for a compact computer with long battery life, 4G support, and compatibility with Windows software.

Just keep in mind that while you can order the tablet with US, EU, AU, or UK-specific USB-C power adapters, this is a Chinese product that ships straight from China and which may not come with the same level of customer service and support you’d get when buying from other vendors.


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11 replies on “Pipo W12 is a Windows 10 tablet with a Snapdragon 850 chip and 4G LTE for under $500”

  1. I already have Surface Pro X, and I just bought this. It’s like a Surface Pro X Lite, and it’s less than 1/4 of what I paid for my Surface Pro X including accessories. Benefits of Windows on ARM (WoA) devices are no overheating, LTE connectivity, fanless, great battery life, instant-on, and full desktop browser. You can’t get a full desktop browser on an iPad or Android tablet.

    If you live in Microsoft’s ecosystem, and don’t like Google’s, then WoA and the upcoming Windows 10X devices are for you. If you don’t have any preference for Microsoft’s ecosystem, and prefer Google’s instead, a Chromebook is a similarly priced alternative. You get almost all the same benefits above but with the negatives of overheating, fanned x86 CPUs and no LTE, on almost all Chromebooks. Only a few Chromebooks are based on ARM64; and all with Chinese ARM processors, none with Qualcomm Snapdragons.

  2. I’d absolutely love to know if ARM64 Linux can run on this, but I cannot seem to google-foo this information out. It’s almost “Fun toy” priced enough for me to order one, wait a month, and enjoy trying. But…not quite. Thanks for the info.

    1. It would be a matter of someone hacking the bootloader to run a different OS on it. For an obscure product like this, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  3. I have a Samsung Galaxy Book 2 which is very similar to this device (same CPU, resolution, kickstand, keyboard and pen capability). It makes for a great everyday, mobile focused laptop. Mine only has 4GB of RAM, but that’s been sufficient for web surfing on the native Edge browser and MS Office tasks with a lot of streaming video services. Battery life is pretty epic for such a thin and light tablet, and the AMOLED screen helps there too. While I got mine as a refurb for about this same price, I’d seriously consider this as a casual laptop for a family member or particularly a student. ARM native apps are getting much more common, and the M1 MacBooks are only going to drive that even more. You can think of this as a MS Surface Pro X “Lite”. The 8GB of RAM is nice but I’m assuming it’s an LCD screen so I’ll take down a little bit of endorsement for that. Having an always on LTE data option has changed the way I use my device – much more cell phone like, and Windows on ARM is getting better all the time.

  4. Chinese product I have purchased over the years is very cringed worthy!

  5. Very cool to see Windows on ARM devices popping up from other manufacturers. Hopefully we might see some in-depth reviews soon that confirm the battery life, and the ability to use LTE in an “always connected” fashion. The fact that PIPO isn’t making any claims about either is concerning, because those are the only attractions to Windows on ARM currently.

    I can’t find any details online about what Pipo is claiming for battery life. I did some googling, and it looks like some Chinese sites appear to suggest 13 hours battery life, but no details to confirm that it was actually tested. I found one site that says “4 to 13 hours”.

    Honestly, if 13hr is indeed the battery life, this is not impressive at all for having to live with the shortcomings of Windows on ARM. Some other Windows on ARM devices are claiming above 20 hour battery life.

    Unless the battery life is better than what I’ve read, the cheaper Surface Go 2 (with 10 hours battery life) sounds like a much better purchase, considering the Surface can actually run Win32 and Win64 applications at a reasonable speed.

      1. The Microsoft store is offering the Surface Go 2 with the type cover included for $469 right now with free shipping.

        Admittedly it’s not the LTE model, so the Pipo wins there.

        Honestly, I can only think of 1 use-case that makes an LTE connected Windows on ARM tablet make any sense: if you need a full-fledged desktop version of Outlook connected to receive emails even when the tablet is in sleep mode. And if you are this person, chances are that your employer is buying this device for you, and a tablet from Aliexpress is probably out of the question.

  6. This is the first PC I’ve seen with “Intel Inside” printed on its back.
    Very funny as the main feature is that it actually doesn’t not run on Intel…

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