Laptops are dead, smartphones are in. If I had a rupee for every time someone mentioned this to me over the last five years, I would’ve been a millionaire.
Qualcomm Always Connected PC Prototype
There’s no doubt laptops are stagnating and a lot of device level innovation is happening on smartphones. And someone has finally decided to funnel all of that smartphone goodness into laptops, giving the category of devices a new lease of life.
Earlier today, Qualcomm announced that it’s rolling out a variety of Windows 10 laptops and hybrid 2-in-1 devices based on its Snapdragon 835 processor — which is found on all of this year’s flagship smartphones like Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 & OnePlus 5T, to name a few.
Beyond Intel powered laptops
Where most Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 laptops sold in the market currently fail to last for more than 3-to-12 hours at a stretch, these Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chips can power full-fledged thin and light laptops and 2-in-1 tablet-laptop convertibles that can last up to 20 plus hours on a single battery charge — some models are expected to last even as much as 25 hours. These future thin laptops will also have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem which supports 1Gbps speeds on 4G LTE networks, doing away with the need for a Wi-Fi connection.
Qualcomm showcased two such thin laptops and 2-in-1 convertibles from HP and ASUS running Windows 10 on Snapdragon 835 processor.
The ASUS NovaGo is a 13-inch tablet-laptop hybrid with a Full-HD 1080p touch display, 8GB of RAM, and up to a 256GB Solid State Drive. It comes with USB 3.1 ports built in, including a microSD card slot, and is expected to sell at US $599 or around Rs 39,000.
Similarly, the all-aluminium HP Envy x2 is similar to a Microsoft Surface Pro — a premium 2-in-1 with a kickstand design, which is a premium-built 2-in-1 detachable with a kickstand design. It’s thin at 6.9 mm, offers 20 hours of always-on battery life, has a Full-HD 1080p touch display with a stylus included, a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM complete the package. It sells around the same price as the ASUS NovaGo.
How to make the PC more like a smartphone
With the Always On, Always Connected Snapdragon 835 laptops, Qualcomm’s trying to encroach into traditional PC market dominated by Intel processors, and they’re crystal clear about their strategy.
“We’re not trying to create a PC that basically is designed to compare with what the PC is today,” said Cristiano Amon, Head of Qualcomm’s chip business. “What we’re thinking is how can we make the PC more like a smartphone.”
For most consumers, who just want a thin and light laptop that can last as long as a smartphone can, connect to 4G networks (thanks to plunging data access costs), and let you stay connected for the maximum amount of time, no doubt these Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (& 845?) chip-based re-invented laptops will be a big hit.