(Cybertech) – Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 7cx Gen 2, a new platform for lower end Windows 10 laptops and Chrome OS-based Chromebooks.
As with other Qualcomm PC platforms such as the 8cx, the focus is being on ‘always connected’. But Qualcomm seems to be focusing more on the lower end rather than the performance segment at present. It’s been confirmed that long-time always connected PC (ACPC) partner Lenovo will be launching 7cx Gen 2 devices this year.
Unlike Qualcomm’s higher-end PC chips the focus isn’t on 5G connectivity, but on 4G LTE instead. The platform does boast octa-core processing, with eight Kryo 468 CPU cores clocked at 2.55GHz, an Adreno graphics unit capable of 4K 60Hz output plus dedicated imaging and AI hardware in addition to support for 802.11ac 2.4/5GHz and Bluetooth 5.0.
As with other Snapdragon-based PCs, battery life is another key factor, with the company citing more than 19 hours of continuous use from a single charge. Qualcomm cites figures that show it around 60 percent more efficient per watt than an equivalent Intel processors (Intel Pentium N5030 in particular), but that it does lose out on performance on PCMark 10 and 3DMark Night Raid benchmarks.
The best Chromebook 2021: Our pick of the top Chrome OS laptops for school, college and more
On Chrome OS its showing is better than its rival chips in benchmarks including Geekbench 5.
Apple’s move towards Apple Silicon – like Qualcomm’s tech based around ARM processor designs – has been a surprise in terms of the performance that the M1 has been able to show versus Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 introduced last September.
And that performance differential is set to continue for the foreseeable future, with Qualcomm’s next-gen top-end platform apparently also not able to match the Apple M1 – although this remains firmly in the speculation column for now.
Ahead of the Microsoft Build event, Qualcomm has also announced a developer kit enabling easier access for developers to a Snapdragon-based Windows 10 PC. The idea behind the small desktop PC is that it gives developers more opportunity to work on ARM-based Windows 10 apps. The hope from Microsoft and Qualcomm is that, by making ARM-based Windows 10 apps easier to create, developers will be more inclined to make them in future.
Zoom was heralded in the announcement as having committed to offering a Windows 10 app for PCs based on ARM technologies such as Snapdragon. But the speed at which app creators like Zoom are making apps for Windows on ARM devices is a contrast to those creating ARM-based apps for Apple Silicon Macs.
Despite Apple Silicon Macs only being a few months old, Zoom was much quicker out of the blocks when it came to creating a native app for that platform.
Writing by Dan Grabham.