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Intel Opens Athena Labs for Thinner, More Powerful Laptops

The next evolution of thin-and-light laptops is in the works. Intel and its partners are hard at work on Project Athena, which if successful, will create laptops with at least nine hours of battery life, the capability to run productivity-focused AI software and 5G compatibility.

In an effort to bring Project Athena to the masses, Intel is opening three new labs around the world sometime in June 2019 (Folsom, California, Taipei, Taiwan and Shanghai, China), where component makers can work with the processor maker to ensure subsequent parts are within the new Athena standards.

So when can consumers expect to see these new laptops? According to Intel, we might see these Athena-notebooks as soon as 2020. As vendors start to submit components, a host of engineers will be poking and prodding to make sure everything falls within the standard. And we’re not just talking SSDs, HDDs and GPUs. These stringent standards will also cover audio, displays and wireless systems, just to name a few.

And while 5G and AI is cool, what we’re really excited about is the potentially more powerful performance and improved battery life. According to our sister site Tom’s Hardware, this next class of laptops will deliver up to 20 hours of battery life, allowing for true, all-day devices. It’s an intriguing option that will push the envelope of what laptops can do in the near future. And we do mean near, as we expect to see or at least hear about Athena’s first class as early as Computex 2019, which takes place towards the end of May.

Credit: Intel

Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.