Qualcomm and Lenovo announced plans to bring one of the first laptops with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor to market early next year. The new chip should enable better performance than we’ve ever seen from a Qualcomm-powered laptop.
But like most Windows PCs with Snapdragon processors, the upcoming Lenovo “Project Limitless” device probably isn’t going to be cheap.
That said, Qualcomm is planning for a future where you’ll be able to pick up a Snapdragon-powered laptop for as little as $300.
Speaking with Miriam Joire on a recent episode of the Mobile Tech podcast, Qualcomm vice president Don McGuire said the company wants to see its chips in a wide range of mobile PCs, including premium models with price tags north of $800 and more affordable devices priced as low as $300.
To do that, he says the company will be fleshing out its roadmap in the coming year, with new chips designed for a range of different price points.
So far the lowest launch price I’ve seen for a Snapdragon-powered PC is $599, which was the starting price for the Asus NovaGo when it hit the streets last year.
In order for PC makers to offer models at half the price, a few things will likely need to happen.
- Qualcomm will need to offer a lower-cost processors that offers performance that’s at least on par with what you’d expect from a low-end Intel Celeron processor.
- PC makers may need to cut some corners in terms of design and features.
- Device makers may need to explore solutions for keeping software license costs down.
That last point could involve working with Microsoft to get a better deal on Windows license fees for low-end devices and/or using Chrome OS or other software that doesn’t have a licensing fee.
In fact, McGuire says he wouldn’t be surprised if some PC makers decide to offer both Windows and Chrome OS models of upcoming devices with Snapdragon chips.
While he didn’t provide many details about specific changes in the company’s roadmap, McGuire did say we’re likely to find out more in the coming months — possibly at the company’s next Qualcomm Tech Summit, which typically takes place in December.