It could be the start of a new era. Qualcomm and Microsoft announced a new partnership for Windows 10 devices powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor. At Computex, the two also revealed the name of the first manufacturers and details like release dates, prices and features. So far, we have been used to Windows devices running on Intel chips.
Snapdragon 835 to power Windows 10 devices
Matt Barlow, corporate vice president for Windows Marketing, said in a statement, “This collaboration offers consumers something new and that they have been craving – the best of a mobile computing experience with the best of Windows 10, all in one thin, light, connected device.”
According to the announcement, HP, Lenovo and Asus will be making Windows 10 devices powered by the Snapdragon 835. Such devices are expected to come out later this year with a price range of $400-$700. These next-gen laptops will offer fanless PC experiences with sleek, ultra-thin designs.
“With the Snapdragon Mobile PC Platform powering our new lineup of Windows 10 devices, our users now can take advantage of new always on, always connected experiences available to them,” said ASUS Chief Executive Officer Jerry Shen.
Why is there a need for Qualcomm chips?
You may be wondering why there is a need for Qualcomm-powered Windows 10 devices when we already have Intel inside them. Qualcomm claims its chips offer several benefits, including solutions for the two biggest problems when it comes to laptops, notes PC Advisor.
According to Qualcomm, its 10nm Snapdragon 835 will offer improved battery life, as the chip and accompanying board are smaller than those made by rivals, thus allowing space for a bigger battery. Its chips are also more efficient, allowing lower power cores to do the bulk of tasks, thus giving the rest to higher clocked cores, which eat up a lot of battery. Qualcomm is promising true “all day” battery life and up to 50% more battery life compared to “a competing solution.”
Another big advantage that Qualcomm’s chip offers is connectivity. Thanks to the integrated Gigabit X16 LTE, the Snapdragon 835 is capable of offering “always on” connectivity, similar to a smartphone, notes PC Advisor.
Should Intel worry?
All of this sounds threatening for Intel, but according to CNBC’s Todd Haselton, the chip giant must not worry. Though the Snapdragon 835 is a powerful chip for smartphones, computers running on it may not fully support Photoshop or video editing features. Qualcomm, however, claims that its chip will support “all Windows applications.”
“Those functions might work in some regard, but don’t expect these machines to be the most powerful on the market,” said Haselton.
Further, Qualcomm’s chips, even though are growing more powerful, are no match for the “full-fledged seventh-generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor,” says Haselton. Intel chips have powered the latest machines from several big names such as Dell and Microsoft, and they are expected to be seen inside in Apple’s new MacBooks as well.
Though there is nothing for Intel to worry for now, it should remain alert because now it has two rivals trying to encroach on its territory: AMD and Qualcomm.