The Business & Technology Network
Helping Business Interpret and Use Technology
«  

May

  »
S M T W T F S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 

Snapdragon laptops could nearly double Intel’s battery life, leak says

DATE POSTED:May 15, 2024

Microsoft has been trying to get Windows users to adopt machines based on the Arm architecture (the same type of chips that power smartphones and other small devices) for years, with limited success. But the upcoming push in conjunction with Qualcomm might just do it, if a new Dell documentation leak is accurate. The new chips reportedly deliver jaw-dropping battery life.

A leaked internal slideshow and spec list shows Dell’s own testing for laptops based on Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon X architecture. These laptops are coming later this year from a variety of vendors. Crucially, this info includes Dell’s battery life estimates meant to be shared among its own employees — not the usual battery life estimates shared with promotional material, which is often generous as best.

According to the leaked info posted to VideoCardz.com, which has a strong track record for PC industry leaks, a laptop designed with Qualcomm’s SC8380XP system-on-a-chip and a typical HD screen and a 55-watt hour battery managed 20.4 hours of Netflix video streaming. An identical design with Intel parts (the only major difference being the CPU and wireless radio) managed 12.63 hours on the same test.

Two other tests with different parts installed, notably screens from various vendors, showed the Qualcomm laptops handily beating Intel-based hardware every time. Dell’s tests showed between 68 percent and 98 percent battery improvement for the Snapdragon-based laptops. That’s dramatic, but not impossible based on the battery life we’ve seen for some other Arm-based laptop designs, including Apple’s M processors for MacBooks and Chromebooks based on MediaTek and Qualcomm chips.

It’s also not surprising that Arm chips, which have been honed for over a decade to deliver better and better battery life for phones and tablets, would show similar gains for laptop designs. And at this point we should highlight that this information is leaked, not official, though the slides posted to VideoCardz are pretty consistent with leaks we’ve seen before.

Battery life isn’t everything — Arm architecture can create compatibility headaches for some software, and Qualcomm is hoping to finally meet or beat the latest Intel and AMD chips in terms of raw number-crunching performance with the Snapdragon X Elite. Video playback is also a rather subjective metric, and might not translate well to more usual tasks like web browsing. But for users who demand laptops with longevity, it could be a very exciting time to be in the market.

We’re expecting the first Snapdragon X Elite laptops to hit the market sometime in the coming months.

Laptops