Is Snapdragon’s Move Into Laptops a Gimmick or a Long-term Trend?
Snapdragon is one of the biggest players in mobiles phones. The vast majority of flagship phones are powered by some form of Snapdragon processor with many other budget phones also rocking a processor made by the American company Qualcomm under the Snapdragon name. Snapdragon has become synonymous with strong performance as well as trust. There is now more competition in mobile phones processors, with Helios and Apple putting them under pressure by creating fantastic chipsets.
But Qualcomm is clearly comfortable enough with the competition and ready to expand into new areas, rather than working on just consolidating their existing smartphone market share. They have decided to gamble and to enter an already very crowded market. They are hoping to shake up an existing market and take on some major players. It a big bet and one they are desperate to see pay off.
They have decided to take on giants Intel, as well as AMD, who while not as popular as Intel still have quite a chunk of market share and enter the laptop market. They announced their intention late in 2017 but began to really show off what their hardware could do at this years CES. The Consumer Electronic Show is always packed full of fantastic appliances and devices that consumers love. Qualcomm decided it was the perfect place to show of some of the computers that would be making use of their dedicated laptop processors.
Qualcomm, in such a crowded market, has had to try and create something new and exciting. Something which actually did something a little bit different. They could try to go head to head with Intel and AMD on specs, on power or on benchmarks. However, that is very easy to be drowned out. It would be simple to just ignore a new player in a market that is already so dominated.
So Qualcomm decided that they would focus on making processors for computers that are ultra mobile. Computers that you can sling in a backpack, computers that you use on train journeys. For many people, these are kind of cheaper backup computers that you don’t use every day but are very useful to have. They are not daily drives, they won’t get you moving like an overclocked desktop computer, but they will easily fulfill simple tasks that you need to get done on the move.
It seems like the big players in Laptops are convinced and they are ready to create devices for the new processors that can make use of how fast and reliable these new processors are. In fact, there are a number of laptops already announced that will be using the Snapdragon chip made for laptops. HP has already stood behind Qualcomm and will be launching the HP Envy X2, a lovely and portable Surface competitor that will be made to be as slim and light as possible. It will come with a pen and a keyboard inside the box and will have 8GB of RAM as well as a 256GB SSD. It will the perfect train companion.
Alongside HP, ASUS has decided to throw their hat into the ring with the NOVA Go which promises extremely good battery life that can easily get you through a whole work day with no issues. It will be a workhorse for everyday tasks like word processing and working with spreadsheets. They claim it will run for 22 hours on a single charge, which is superb.
Lenovo has also decided that, like HP, the best use of this new chip is in a convertible as they are always being used by people who value portability above all. It can be customized with either 4 or 8GB of RAM and the hard drive can go all the way up to 256GB on an SSD. It will not blow people away but it will be a solid performer.
Arguably though, the best feature of the Snapdragon 835 being in laptops, is the fact that it allows them to have LTE built in, it will be easy to get a connection wherever you are, ensuring that if you need to send that email, write that Google Doc or download a report, you won’t have to find your nearest cafe. It will be fascinating to see how Qualcomm get on.