Snapdragon-Powered Laptops Could Soon Get a Big Boost

It appears that Qualcomm's looking to solve one of the biggest issues that plagued the first Windows laptops that ran on its chips: sluggish performance. New reports suggest that a suped-up Snapdragon 1000 CPU is in the works, which could provide enough speed to compete with systems running Intel's mainstream processors.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835-based HP Envy x2 Review. Credit: LaptopMag

The news comes from the Berlin-based WinFuture, which claims that the ARM chips will sport enough performance to be compared to Intel's stronger Y- and U-series x86 processors. The Y-series chips are less powerful and found in Intel's thinner systems, while the U-series processors are used in more-average, everyday laptops.

The WinFuture article also notes that the Snapdragon 1000 will draw 6.5 watts of power, and that it will be a part of a system-on-chip design that draws 12 watts in total. We note this power usage detail because it brings up a very big question about battery life in these Qualcomm laptops.

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Intel's U-series chips use 15W of power and run in laptops with 5 to 17 hours of battery life, and its Y-series chips use 4.5W of power and feature in laptops with 5 to 9 hours. Therefore, a 6.5W CPU would make for a laptop with battery life somewhere within those ranges, which could fall below the all-day claims that Qualcomm's made in the past.

For example, the Snapdragon 835-based HP Envy x2 lasted 14 hours and 22 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test and the Snapdragon 835-based Asus NovaGo made it 12 hours and 19 minutes on that same test.

WinFuture references a newly-developed power management chip to handle the increased needs of this chip and how it consumes energy, so that may be mitigated.

While the Snapdragon 835 laptops also benefited from ubiquitous internet, thanks to LTE connectivity, their speed wasn't the only issue. These machines are still awaiting support for 64-bit apps, meaning that they may not be a great fit for you, depending on the Windows 10 apps you rely on.

Windows 10 Performance and Productivity