Next-gen AI PCs are within reach, as ASUS joins Microsoft and Qualcomm to unveil a new Snapdragon X laptop on May 20

An AI render of a Snapdragon X chip
(Image credit: Image Creator from Designer | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • ASUS is hosting a virtual event on May 20, 2024, at which it says a new AI PC — presumably powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon X — will be unveiled.
  • The "premium ultraportable laptop" might not be the only AI PC from ASUS, as it mentions Computex 2024 attendees will be able to see the "ASUS AI PC lineup."
  • More Snapdragon X laptops from eight other major PC makers are expected to be revealed soon, as we're coming up on the "mid-2024" launch window.
  • Microsoft is also hosting an event on May 20, where it's expected that it will reveal new Snapdragon X-powered Surface PCs and major Windows 11 AI features.

It's no surprise that new laptops powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X platform are headed our way soon. It was revealed in October 2023 that nine major laptop makers are on board with the new Systems-on-Chip (SoC), including heavy hitters like Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Microsoft, and, ASUS. These new PCs are expected to begin hitting the market in mid-2024.

Until now, we had no confirmation about when these new laptops would be officially unveiled. In a recent press release, ASUS said it will announce its version of a "new-era ASUS AI PC" at its Next Level. AI Incredible. event on May 20, 2024. The event is exclusively available for virtual viewers, and it's set to kick off at 11AM PST. ASUS will host the event on its website, with the proper link to the presentation going live on May 7.

This coincides nicely with Microsoft's special Windows and Surface event also planned for May 20, where it's expected that the company will show off new Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 PCs with Snapdragon X and next-gen AI features coming to Windows 11. We will be attending Microsoft's event with full coverage of all the announcements.

The ASUS Next Level. AI Incredible. event is expected to kick off on May 20 at 11AM PST. (Image credit: ASUS)

ASUS says that its own launch event will "feature a collaboration between Microsoft, Qualcomm, and ASUS," which drives home the point that its PC is powered by the Snapdragon X platform. Whether the laptop has an X Elite or X Plus chip remains to be seen.

ASUS also says that Co-CEO S. Y. Hsu will accompany speakers from both Microsoft and Qualcomm to "provide invaluable insights into their contributions to the development of the new generation of ASUS AI PCs, shedding light on the collaborative efforts that have brought this remarkable innovation to fruition."

Furthermore, the press release mentions that Computex 2024 attendees will be able to check out the "ASUS AI PC lineup" firsthand, signaling that there could be multiple new Snapdragon X-powered ASUS laptops headed our way. Computex is held in Taipei between June 3 and June 7, 2024.

Some Snapdragon X laptops have already leaked

In an exclusive report by Windows Central Senior Editor Zac Bowden, it was revealed that Microsoft is cooking up ARM-powered Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 PCs with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X chips.

We still don't know what these new Surface devices will look like, but we can assume from leaked benchmarks that there will be a mix of Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus SoCs in these PCs.

We also received what could be a first look at Lenovo's unannounced Snapdragon X AI PCs thanks to supposed leaks from X (formerly Twitter) user WalkingCat. They showed off a Yoga Slim 7 and ThinkPad T14s (Gen 6), both slim and sleek laptops with a Copilot button on the keyboard.

With May 20 shaping up to be a big day for Microsoft, Qualcomm, and now ASUS, we can expect to see more laptop makers jump on board soon for their own announcement events.

Why we're so amped for the Snapdragon X platform

The Snapdragon X Elite SoC on a display card. (Image credit: Future)

Qualcomm's Snapdragon X platform, which so far includes the Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus SoCs, is expected to bring major changes to Windows laptops. There are already some great AI PCs on the market, but the Snapdragon X platform could be the revolution for which we've been waiting.

If the performance and efficiency benchmarks that we've seen so far turn out to be true — and we don't have much reason to doubt them — Windows users who wish for the power and battery life available in Apple laptops (myself included) are about to be very happy.

We saw last year that the X Elite chip beats Apple's M2 Max and Intel's Core i9-13980HX chips in some tests, with better power efficiency to boot. We also saw the X Elite beat the Apple M3 Pro in multi-thread Geekbench tests.

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Qualcomm isn't just content with CPU performance. Its integrated Adreno GPU should fare very well with 1080p gaming, and Windows games are expected to run smoothly thanks to x64 emulation.

Perhaps most intriguing, at least for those keeping up with the world of AI PCs, is the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that offers performance far beyond what Intel and AMD have to offer in their current-gen chips. The Snapdragon X's NPU boasts 45 TOPS of power for local AI acceleration, well above the 10 TOPS in Intel Core Ultra and 16 TOPS in AMD Ryzen 8040.

We're expecting Microsoft to firm up expectations for local Copilot functionality, which so far looks to be set at a minimum of 40 TOPS. And now, with a Windows 11 "AI Explorer" update expected to be announced May 20 at Microsoft's event, the need for strong local AI performance should become even more important.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.