Intel reveals first round of specifications for 'Project Athena' laptops

What you need to know

  • Intel's "Project Athena" is a multi-year effort to push innovation in the laptop segment.
  • At Computex 2019, Intel revealed the first Project Athena key requirements for laptops from partners.
  • The "Key Experience Indicators," as Intel calls them, mainly focus on long battery life and instant resuming capabilities.

In addition to revealing its 10th Gen "Ice Lake" processors at Computex 2019 today, Intel also talked more about "Project Athena," it's new initiative to push the laptop industry forward over the next several years. Similar to its "Ultrabook" push several years ago, Intel is crafting a series of "Key Experience Indicators" (KEIs) for its manufacturing partners to meet as part of Project Athena.

Outside of a brief mention at CES 2019, we've heard very little about Project Athena other than Intel's ambitions to move the industry forward. Today, the company outline version 1.0 of its KEIs for partners to follow. And largely speaking, they're focused on a few, fairly simple, areas.

The first major focus is on battery, and in particular battery life targets and consistency. Intel is aiming for PC manufacturers to make sure laptops maintain consistent performance when running on battery while hitting upwards of 16 hours of battery life. In addition, as part of its 1.0 targets, Intel is pushing its partners to focus on responsiveness, aiming for the ability for systems to wake from sleep in under one second.

Other areas included in Intel's first round of targets encompass Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit LTE, far-field voice recognition, and fast charging. Form factor is also a focus, with an emphasis on thing and light devices, touch displays, and narrow bezels.

These are just the first round of targets, so expect Intel to push the envelope even more as the years wear on. It's likely we'll see the Intel push ideas for new form factors, like dual-screen laptops, further down the line. But with partners like Dell, Acer, HP, and Lenovo on board, we should start seeing the beginnings of some of these efforts come to fruition soon.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I still want to know what's happening to their next gen of 10nm U series for mobile. Whiskey lake is pretty damn fast, so I'm not all that fussed about speed increments. But the first of the 10nm was shipped WITHOUT integrated graphics and relied on discreet instead. The other talking point was inbuilt LTE, which Intel has spoken about. Perhaps they ditched the discreet graphics idea because of that HUGE boost in iris graphics. Because honestly twice as powerful, would be bloody impressive. That'd be genuine gaming power. Especially considering how incredibly power sipping Iris graphics and intel graphics is, for the performance. If intel can keep up it's blazing speeds on 15TDP chips, add in this powerful graphics, and match, or be competitive with most of the other selling points of ARM (LTE, instant on, longer battery life), they'll be doing well; because it'll be like 'hmm, a few extra hours battery life, or a slimline beast?'. I know what I'd choose in a laptop or barebones.
  • I'd love an explainer from WC about this compared to WOA. What can we expect in a couple years? Will Intel and ARM have comparable Windows experiences?