Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 850, A Processor Built With Windows PCs In Mind


Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon 850, a new processor dedicated for Windows 10 Always Connected PCs, at the Computex 2018 in Taipei.

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 850 For Always Connected PCs

The Snapdragon 850 is a follow-up to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, which was used in the first Always Connected PCs that Microsoft and Qualcomm announced last year. It also promises improved performance, better connectivity, and extended battery life among other features.

Always Connected PCs are essentially Arm-based mobile devices that offer extended battery life, instant-on responsiveness, and constant cellular connectivity. However, these devices have been plagued with performance issues, which Qualcomm aims to address with the Snapdragon 850 processor.

Qualcomm said that the new processor is optimized for PCs and will not cater to smartphones like the Snapdragon 845, which arrived earlier this year.

Improved Performance, Connectivity, And Battery Life

The company claims that the new chip improves performance by 30 percent and extends battery life by 20 percent. For example, the battery of a first-generation Asus NovaGo ACPC, which uses the Snapdragon 835, runs for an incredible 17 hours and 22 minutes. However, with the Snapdragon 850, the battery life could be extended to about 21 hours.

The processor features an X20 LTE modem, which, according to Qualcomm, allows devices to achieve transfer speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps and deliver 20 percent faster LTE speeds when compared to Snapdragon 835. Snapdragon 850 also boasts of advanced graphics performance, as well as high-quality audio.

The Snapdragon 850 is powered by a Kryo 385 CPU and has a clock speed of 2.95GHz. As the Snapdragon 850 is intended for use with larger devices than smartphones such as laptops and tablets, it has the ability to run at higher clock speeds without the risk of overheating.

The chip is also equipped with support for HDR displays and 4K video capture. Although it seems illogical to shoot 4K videos using a laptop or tablet's camera, it could certainly prove to be useful to those who like to record high-quality training or tutorial videos, such as the vloggers.

When Will Snapdragon 850-Powered Devices Arrive?

Although the first batch of Always Connected PCs with Snapdragon 835 just arrived in stores this spring, Qualcomm promises that its partners will release devices powered by the Snapdragon 850 processor just in time for the holiday season this year.

The company added that it will partner up with more Original Equipment Manufacturers than before. An upcoming device from Samsung will come equipped with the Snapdragon 850 processor. The Snapdragon 835 powered devices from Asus, HP, and Lenovo.

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