We know how important Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 is for making Always Connected PCs a viable option for consumers. Today at IFA in Berlin, Lenovo announced the first laptop carrying the new CPU, giving Microsoft’s Windows 10 for ARM a boost.
The Yoga C630 certainly promises to deliver on the expectations around the Snapdragon 850. Lenovo says with the CPU on board, the Yoga C630 delivers 30% more performance than the first generation of Always Connected PCs.
In terms of raw specifications, the convertible laptop has 13.3-inch display with full HD 1080p resolution, up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and up to 256GB UFS 2.1 storage. While that all makes for a solid enough laptop, the Snapdragon 850 is the big story here.
We discussed earlier this year how the first generation of Always Connected PCs underwhelmed. Performance was lacking, mostly due to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processer. A mobile chipset first and foremost, the 835 failed to deliver performance alongside the benefits of a mobile CPU.
The Snapdragon 850 is supposed to be the answer to those issues. I wrote in May how the CPU could push Windows 10 for ARM to the next level, at least to reach expectations. However, what the chip isn’t is a dedicated laptop processor (more on that in a minute).
An early benchmark last week suggested the 850 was not going to live up to the hype. Still, Lenovo’s Yoga C630 suggests the Snapdragon 850 will deliver the goods. As well as the aforementioned 30% performance boost, the processor allows “over” 25 hours of battery life. This, of course, is the core point of Always Connected PCs, the power of laptops with the mobility of mobile.
With Always Connected PC, the C630 has a built-in 4G LTE radio for mobile internet, with potential speeds of 3x to 7x what you get at home. The device will start shipping in November and will cost $849.99.
While it is good to see Always Connected PC may be reaching its potential, there is a feeling the Snapdragon 850 is merely a stopgap. That’s because Qualcomm is known to be working on a dedicated laptop processor.
The Snapdragon 1000 will be the company’s first ever laptop chipset and will be optimized for Always Connected PCs. This week the processor passed through a benchmark, and is expected to start arriving in laptops at CES 2019 in January.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how Qualcomm differentiates the abilities of the Snapdragon 1000 against the 850. If the 1000 arrives as an instant improvement, those who jump on board with the 850 now may feel short changed.