First Windows 11 on Arm laptops arrive with Microsoft's Pluton chip. Here's why it matters

The first Arm-based laptops with Microsoft’s Pluton security co-processor have arrived in the form of Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X13s, which features Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chipset.     

Microsoft started talking about its Pluton dedicated security chip in November 2020 and predicted it would take a few years to arrive in PCs. In January 2022, the company announced Pluton would come with Lenovo’s AMD Ryzen-6000 ThinkPad Z series laptops; now Pluton is coming to Lenovo’s newest laptop with an Arm-based mobile chipset from Qualcomm. 

Windows 11

Lenovo’s AMD laptops with Pluton will ship in May, while the ThinkPad X13s with the Pluton processor was just announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) and will be available in April from $1,099 in the US through AT&T and Verizon, according to ZDNet’s sister site CNET. Both laptops are aimed at the business market.

SEE: Best Windows laptop 2022: Top notebooks compared

Pluton is a big deal for Microsoft because it is at the centre of the security capabilities for Windows 11, providing protection in the boot, identity, credential protection and encryption processes.

Pluton is a security processor architecture designed to store sensitive data like encryption keys securely with hardware

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