We are approaching a revolution in laptop computing, and a technology provider that isn’t known for laptops is leading the charge. I’ve been living off a Qualcomm-based laptop for over a year now, and while the benefits of long battery life and LTE connectivity have been great, the performance does leave a bit to be desired. With this week’s announcement of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite, performance and battery life grow substantially, suggesting a much-improved experience with laptop computers. In addition, this latest technology promises a significant performance increase with Large Language Models (LLMs). The combination suggests a massive jump in capability and productivity.
Let’s explore that this week.
Days of Battery Life
Something that has become common with the advent of laptop computers is people having to carry backpacks that hold their laptop, power supply, and a bunch of other stuff that they probably won’t need at the meeting but that are useful when traveling. We are mostly all carrying a bunch of stuff, including power banks, to address the limitations of today’s laptops.
In addition, we often see a musical chairs kind of event when people arrive at a meeting and realize that there aren’t enough plugs for all of them. Even when we find an open plug, it may not be near our seat, or it may be covered by whatever else is plugged into the socket.
When you move to days of battery life, like what we’ll have with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X Elite processor, you can leave your backpack and charger behind. You won’t have to care about plugs, and you can leave your backpack at home or at your hotel and just carry the laptop.
That’s how I carry my older, Qualcomm-based HP Folio. This feature, coupled with LTE support (meaning I don’t have to worry about whether the Wi-Fi is available), is a game changer for me. Longer battery life, improved performance, Wi-Fi 7 support, and 5G will truly improve the user experience.
Another major improvement is a vastly improved NPU and far better AI support. As we become more familiar with generative AI and discover that we can’t operate efficiently without it (Microsoft Copilot is becoming yet another game changer), the ability to use this tool when not connected becomes more critical. In addition, running generative AI off the cloud is massively resource-intensive both in terms of processing and in terms of network traffic. Running it locally not only makes generative AI more available it potentially substantially reduces the charges associated with running this in the cloud.
Usage models range from automatically writing email and messaging responses, doing much of the writing work when creating documents, and improving the quality of the things we do write, which will improve our presentations and our opportunities for upward mobility. This is an amazing productivity-improving technology. Making it both cheaper to use and more available should have a significant positive impact on most aspects of our work life and, assuming we use it effectively, provide a stronger path to better work/life balance.
As we discovered with other productivity tools like Microsoft Office, I expect we’ll eventually wonder how we ever lived without it.
The Snapdragon X Elite is a game-changing solution for mobile computing. It showcases not only a massive performance and battery life improvement for Qualcomm’s laptop solutions but, according to Qualcomm, significantly outperforms the offerings from Qualcomm’s competitors. However, these competitors aren’t standing by. Both AMD and Intel also promise significant advances in their solutions by the end of 2024. Qualcomm’s more sustaining advantages also reside in the connectivity aspects of the offering, including Wi-Fi 7, which promises optical levels of wireless performance, and 5G, which is a huge performance increase from the LTE I’m currently using.
Qualcomm had me at never needing to carry a backpack to a meeting ever again. All the other benefits were just impressive gravy. And I love gravy.
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