back to article Qualcomm flexes latest Arm chipset for laptops: Snappy performance and battery life if you can put off your upgrade long enough

Two years after entering the PC market, Qualcomm has updated its Snapdragon 8cx platform. The new chip, dubbed the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G, promises modest performance improvements over its predecessor, particularly when it comes to power consumption. The US mobile chipmaker reckons its homegrown silicon has an 18 per cent …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

    Manufacturers will instead build laptops which are 0.5mm thinner and 0.1kg lighter than before. Sadly.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

      If there are I'd be interested in one.

    2. DS999

      Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

      Why would anyone need a laptop with a 25 hour battery life? You have to sleep eventually, it can charge then.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

        I guess the main benefits are these, in increasing priority:

        1. You might want to have a laptop with you while you're away from power for an extended period. For some reason. I'm not sure exactly why. The best option I have is that your residence might lose power intermittently. If it was longer, the battery would still die on you, so it still has to be a short time (maybe a week maximum) away from power.

        2. You have a long journey ahead of you but the vehicle which is involved doesn't have a mechanism to recharge your device.

        3. By using less power, you can reduce the number of times you have to recharge and prolong the battery's life.

        4. They're lying their face off and 25 means 13, but at least with 13 hours of battery, it will last all day of frequent use.

      2. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

        A 25 hour battery life on paper would translate to more like 18 hours, maybe less, depending on what you are doing.

        Plus you clearly have not travelled over the pond and onwards too often, at least not with a laptop. In my experience power outlets were difficult to find in airports, at least in high enough numbers and with seats close by. You should try to sleep on the plane, where you have no chance of charging your laptop. Plus with most laptops you can hardly work on the plane, they are way too big (a netbook works very well!).

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

          18 hours?

          My typical work day consists of typing furiously and mild mouse waving for five minutes, followed by 110% CPU usage while the compiler does its thing, followed by five to 10 minutes of heavy 3D rendering while I test.

          I'm lucky to get two hours out of my current work-issued laptop. I reckon this might stretch to three hours - if I'm lucky.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

            One of the main advantages with ARM-based chips is that they tend to have more specific hardware acceleration so it's possible that the rendering at least would get a boost, though compiling as a generally single-core process might take longer. Either way these new devices are unlikely to be suitable replacements for your current workstation, which is basically what you're using your notebook for.

            1. Def Silver badge

              Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

              I don't think you can get more specific than an nvidia RTX 2080. ;)

              And compiling hasn't been a single-core endeavour out of the box for at least 10 years, and a lot longer with third party help.

          2. Proton_badger

            Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

            These will be for quite light laptops, more for web browsing, Powerpoint and Word. Your laptop sounds more like a developers (gfx?) laptop which is about as far from the targeted market as you can get in the laptop realm, right in there with gaming laptops.

            1. Def Silver badge

              Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

              It is a gaming laptop.

              My personal laptop is a lightweight little number, but I still manage to push it a bit when working. :)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There won't be laptops with 25 hour battery life...

        Its a bit like the battery life on mobile phones or smart watches. From my point of view being able to get through a full day is vital (for phone/watch that probably means 18 hours use with a bit of charge left at the end - for a laptop then its more like 8-10 hours for a working day). Next being able to go two day is great - almost guarantees no issues if you charge every night + you can cope if you either forget to charge or you have a charger fail (e.gf. find you didn't quite push the charge cable in properly or the watch didn't quite sit correctly on its charging dock etc). After that my view is additional battery life isn't much benefit until your getting to kindle levels where you've several week use and when charghe starts to get low you've still got a few days to find a charger. So 25 hours for a laptop is in the nice to have category but not really a massive step up from 8-10 hours.

  2. stepheT

    A notepad anyone

    Hopefully manufacture will use this for a 10 inch notepad. Be excellent for traveling and every day use. With Chrome OS of course.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: A notepad anyone

      By "notepad", do you mean tablet with handwriting recognition capability? If so, why this chipset and why Chrome OS? First, you're likely going for lots of battery life, but the 25 hour estimate/exaggeration is for a laptop which can have a bigger battery. Most tablets don't have as large a battery because they have to put that all in the screen bit, making it really thick, whereas the laptop can put it in the keyboard bit. If someone wanted such a tablet with really nice battery life, they could of course make it thicker, but it might be better just to use a lower-power processor since it's designed mostly for writing.

      For the software, Chrome OS seems ill-suited for, well a lot of things, but this task is one of them. If it's intended to be a notepad, I.E. frequently used to write documents, you want as much availability, speed, and power conservation as you can get. For example, interpreting writing in real time can be complex, so a recognizer that runs in native compiled code on the device itself is going to be fastest and use the least power. One which runs on the device but in JavaScript is going to be slower and will put more weight on the processor, whereas one that runs on the cloud will only work when the device is online, include a latency problem, and unnecessarily use power communicating with said server. While Chrome OS has been grudgingly adding some of this, most other OSes are significantly more eager to use the device for processing. Linux, Android, or Windows would all be able to do the job much better, especially given that the latter two have both had manufacturers who have invested in handwriting input quite a lot.

      Maybe you want something which is different from what I think you want. If I'm correct, however, I don't think your suggested approach is the best one.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Boffin

    The next question is...

    Will MS miss the boat yet again?

    Will their Windows Software for ARM Cpu's be so locked down as to be next to useless?

    etc etc etc

    And then there is as the article says, Apple going about the transition in their own way, taking their time and trying (sic) to bring their devs along with them. The recent updates to XCode allowing MacOS to be an ARM target shows a level of commitment that is somehow lacking (or is there but hidden) from the likes of MS. At this point in time and sad as it may seem to many, it looks like Apple MacOS/Arm migration is the benchmark that the others have to meet. Sure, they have the money to do it properly but Mac's are only a small part of their business as we all love to crow about at results time.

    This space is going to get interesting in the next 18-24 months. Intel really need to be taking a long hard look at their company and get on with deciding where it should go next. Making stonking CPU's for Gamers (hey nVidia that applies to you as well) is a limited (but at the moment lucrative) market. Where is the real volume going to come from?

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