Last year at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit in Maui, Qualcomm introduced their first Always On, Always Connected PCs touting all-day battery life and built-in 4G connectivity inside of a thin and light laptop or convertible. Today, the company announced the second generation of Always On, Always Connected PCs, powered by their new premium 8cx chipset.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform is the first PC platform built on 7nm and it’s totally fanless. In addition, it ups the ante over its predecessor with support for multi-gigabit LTE speeds and multi-day battery life.
“With performance and battery life as our design tenets, we’re bringing 7nm innovations to the PC space, allowing for smartphone-like capabilities to transform the computing experience,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of mobile for Qualcomm Technologies. “As the fastest Snapdragon platform ever, the Snapdragon 8cx will allow our customers to offer a powerful computing experience of multi-day battery life and multi-gigabit connectivity, in new thin, light and fanless design for consumers and the enterprise.”
In addition, to support for multi-gigabit LTE speeds up to 2.0 Gbps, the 8cx will make your experience in areas with poor network conditions better. To that effect, it will improve throughput by up to 70%.
When it comes to performance, the Qualcomm Adreno 680 GPU inside of the 8cx platform offers a 2x performance improvement and 60% greater power efficiency over the previous generation platform. The GPU allows for 4K HDR video playback at 120 frames per second. The Qualcomm Kryo 495 CPU is also faster and it’s actually the fastest CPU that Qualcomm has ever built.
Looking at peak CPU performance, the 8cx is competitive to a U series type processor (a 15W solution). However, when it comes to power, It consumes a fraction of what a U series processor would consume.
The 8cx supports up to 16GB of RAM, dual 4K HDR external displays, both SSD and UFS 2.0 support, Qualcomm QuickCharge 4+, Qualcomm aptX HD for audio, as well as support for both Amazon Alexa and Cortana, PCI Express, and even USB 3.1. This time around, the 8cx supports Windows 10 Enterprise Edition. Let’s just say that on paper, the 8cx platform is not messing around, but it’s designed to be a real workhorse of a PC on the road.
It’s worth noting that Qualcomm will continue to sell their first generation Always On PCs that are powered by the 850 chipset, but these first gens will likely drop in price. The 8cx is poised to be the more premium option of the two.