Your New Laptop Is a Copilot+ PC. What Does This Mean?

The new key, marked with a twisting ribbon logo, brings up Microsoft’s AI assistant Copilot.

Copilot is Microsoft’s generative AI assistant, which is powered by OpenAI GPT-4 and uses DALL-E3 to generate images.

You can ask it questions, have it generate text or images, use it to summarize documents and web pages, and instruct it to perform some tasks in Windows. You can also use Copilot online or in a mobile app.

Microsoft is requiring laptop makers that ship devices with Windows 11 and specific hardware to include the new Copilot key on their keyboards.

Last week, the company announced that new laptops called Copilot+ PCs will be released beginning June 18. Those computers, made by the likes of Dell, HP, and others, alongside Microsoft’s own new Surface Laptop, are made with specific hardware for enhanced AI features that run directly on the laptop. All will have a new Copilot button on the keyboard.

Features such as real-time captioning and translation, image generation with Cocreator, Windows Studio Effects, and a controversial new tool called Recall, which takes screenshots of your activity in Windows in order to answer questions about tasks you performed on your computer, are available only on Copilot+ PCs. (We’ll be testing all of these new laptops when they launch this summer, so we recommend that you hold off on ordering one until we assess them.)

But you don’t need a Copilot+ PC to take advantage of many Copilot features, and you really don’t even need a Copilot button, though you won’t be able to escape it if you buy a Windows laptop this year.

Here’s what you need to know about what Copilot can—and can’t—do right now.

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