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.

Lenovo Project Limitless w/Snapdragon 8cx

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.

via WinFuture.de

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17 replies on “Qualcomm is working on cheaper chips for laptops”

  1. The Windows license fee is not huge. Even low volume OEMs pay a lot less than consumers.

    1. I’ve seen a “Windows Low End OS slide” from someone’s sales deck that was about $30/license with low screen resolution, 4GB or less RAM, etc. 10% of a $300 netbook is substantial.

  2. You know what’s cheapest being able to use your phone inside the laptop. Yep doesn’t get cheaper than that…
    If Qualcomm chips can run windows then at least put Linux in every new flagship android phone for when connected to a larger display.

    •Now you don’t need another carrier plan
    •Now your laptop upgrades for a fraction of the cost whenever your phone upgrades.

    I can’t can not stress enough how vital it is they make this happen.

    1. That feature was “demoed” back in 2011 with the Motorola Atrix 4G.
      Since then it’s been adopted as Samsung DeX. As well as the Razer Phone 1/2 in Project Linda.
      And it’s rumoured to be included in the AOSP/Android10 Quiche later this year, and going mainstream next year.

  3. I wonder if this intent to reduct prices has anything to do with that anti-trust lawsuit qualcomm is dealing with.

  4. I don’t understand the “tablets will replace PC” argument. My phone gives me most of the “just read a screen” stuff – email, web etc.
    My tablet is just a bigger phone but doesn’t do anything more. Even with a keyboard, without a window manager and mouse it doesn’t let me do anything productive.
    My laptop annoys me by adding so little value; I think the world needs a $250-300 data input device. The reality is that a $250 laptop with Linux does most of that but Windows is rubbish with less than $500 of hadware

  5. My main interest in Windows on ARM is the hope of lower power SoCs (compared to Intel/AMD) with built-in LTE enabling the design of UMPCs. I definitely won’t be buying $1000+ notebook with 13″+ screens with the performance of an Intel U SoC.

    1. This is what everyone was hoping as well.
      Based on Qualcomm’s current portfolio, the highest end QSD 730 is only a bit slower than the QSD 835. So I’m expecting the laptop variants of the Q7xx series will perform exactly like the first-generation of these ARM-books, with roughly the same performance and battery life.

      Naturally, the biggest factor is still the software. And while I’m impressed by MS’s efforts, these chips still pale in comparison to Core M/i7-Y chips for day-to-day tasks. And when there’s x86-emulation involved, well, you may as well be using the Intel Atom X7-Z8750 instead.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think MS/Qualcomm will fulfil your interests…. at least not yet, not until they’ve wasted more money in marketing to people for 4G/5G tablets and ultrabooks. Once they realise how utterly they have been defeated, that’s when they will cater to fans and liliputers, though I think it may be a little too late by then (folding phones ?).

      1. All good points, with one important miss though. Qualcomm chips for laptops integrate a 4G and soon 5G modem, something you need to add to an intel powered laptop, one more chip means more cost and more complexity. Marketing 4G or 5G to laptop users isn’t a waste. When on the road, free public wifi can be pretty dire, and sharing a phone connection is a battery killer.

  6. Why we must need a laptop? Is not the tablet is all that is actually we need. I don’t think it’s great idea to go backward.

    1. Many people like a having keyboard. That’s why I love my Surface.

      1. Keyboards are great, but they suck when you realize its not coming off the frame, and you spilled some mysterious liquid on it. Keyboards that fully detach are better.

        1. I haven’t found any Detachable Keyboards yet that I thought “this is great/decent”.

          MS came close with the Surface Book 2, Sony came close with the Vaio Canvas Z, and Lenovo came close with the Helix. However, all of those options are practically obsolete.

          The majority of Detachable Keyboards are iPad and Surface Pro type thin softboards, and they’re definitely not ideal for many use cases, many people, and for extended sessions. It’s for that reason people are consistently choosing the “Yoga”-style convertibles when given the chance/price.

          1. I don’t understand. I’m not against a hardware keyboard, it does certain jobs quicker. One can use Bluetooth HID or USB to attach any input device. If that’s not good enough now, we need a better protocol.

            Actually, I welcome foldable tablet/phone (with internet, with workable big screen but can carry in my pocket without punching a hole 🙂 which can always be with me anywhere.

    2. Putting the cart before the horse. Before we see a slate 2-in-1 Windows tablet with Qualcomm ARM, they will need to see success in the Windows market in general, in its most profitable category: laptops.

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