These words accurately reflect my thoughts. x86 emulation will never be fast. This would require Microsoft to recompile thousands of old APIs into ARM. They might also be using emulation tricks like code translation caching. In the end, though, memory is not endless and there will always be that brutally complex algorithm that will just have to translated on the fly. To be fair, x86 emulation will perform fine for older programs (likely all pre-2005 and many pre-2010 programs). However, do not expect to be able to play games, use web browsers other than Edge and Internet Explorer, perform multimedia editing, or run other demanding programs written for x86.
Their Photoshop example never gave us a true feel of the emulation performance. A simple Gaussian blur effect is a split second algorithm that would be just a split-second longer, unapparent to the naked eye. What I would have liked to have seen would have been more realistic examples. They could have run a variety of complex plug-ins, applying them one by one, one right after the other. They could have also demoed live inking with a pen using a very computationally heavy brush selection.
The other programs they ran likely were compiled for ARM and running natively. Office was never mentioned to be x86. Like in Windows RT, they probably have a special ARM version of Office. The same applies to Microsoft Edge and the Universal Windows Platform app they showcased, World of Tanks Blitz. In particular, Windows Store apps like World of Tank Blitz can often have an ARM version available:
I see this as Microsoft trying to take another crack at the budget tablet market after the Intel Atom's ill fate. Now, this may actually work out, provided Microsoft can get many more app developers between now and the end of this year on board. It is a risky move, and besides Qualcomm, other ARM manufacturers like MediaTek are less than optimistic about this (link). As it is, my sincerest recommendation to Eve would be to avoid this platform unless and until the conditions become more favorable in the future.