It’s been nearly two years since Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8cx processor, which is the flagship ARM processor for Windows laptops, but at IFA 2020, the company unveiled its successor: the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G, which promises some additional improvements to Original.
Qualcomm has not been very explicit about the specific performance improvements that the 8cx Gen 2 will offer over its predecessor other than saying that it will provide “generational performance and efficiency gains”.
However, Qualcomm Extremely Interested in showing that the new 8cx Gen 2 chipset is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with traditional Intel systems. It claims the 8cx Gen 2 delivers significant performance gains on both a comparable 10th-generation Core i5 chip from Intel as well as Intel’s Lakefield chips (which aim to directly challenge Qualcomm’s laptop efforts, and even use a similar hybrid platform).
The 8cx Gen 2 also provides improved battery life, with Qualcomm promising not only the value of a full day of work without a single charge but more than 25 hours of continuous use, enough for “multiple days of battery life” – an impressive feat, assuming it It actually holds up in the real world.
Other new features in the 8cx Gen 2 include built-in support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, Qualcomm’s Aqstic audio technology (used for “echo cancellation and noise suppression”), and support for dual external 4K displays at 60 fps. There are also vague promises of improved AI capabilities, which should allow more features such as Surface Pro X’s eye contact and enhanced security functions for corporate and enterprise customers.
Despite adding “5G” to the name, the 8cx Gen 2 doesn’t actually duplicate much on the communication interface: it will offer the same options for the X24 LTE modem and the X55 5G modem as the original 8cx, but it will be so until the manufacturers decide whether to show either.
The updated chips are coming as Qualcomm is looking to take advantage of its advantage with its 5G laptops. While the 8cx was announced in December 2018, the first 5G laptops started arriving this year, and as my colleague Cameron Faulkner noted in his review of the Lenovo Flex 5G, while the battery life on these devices is already exceptional, such as application support is still lacking. For ARM-based computers. In addition, Qualcomm is about to enter a new competition: Samsung has already announced the Galaxy Book Flex 5G, powered by Intel’s 11th generation chips and built on Samsung’s own 5G modem.
Qualcomm says it expects the first 8cx Gen 2 5G hardware to debut later this year, starting with the Acer Spin 7, which was announced alongside the new chipset (and it will also be Acer’s first 5G computer.)
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