What you need to know
- Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 Compute Platform.
- The platform is aimed at entry-level PCs for first-line workers, education, and budget devices where LTE is needed.
- Lenovo is mentioned as a key launch partner for new laptops coming later this year.
- The first devices based on the 7c Gen 2 is due this summer.
Following earlier rumors in March, Qualcomm has finally announced its Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 Compute Platform, aimed at entry-level and budget laptops.
Destined for always-connected Windows PCs and Chromebooks, the new chip brings improved performance, although Qualcomm is remiss to define that precisely. But besides performance, Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 brings "enhanced camera and audio capabilities, integrated LTE connectivity, AI acceleration (5th Gen), enterprise-grade security features." In other words, the chips are supposed to have all-around improved hardware support, but, again, specific changes are not noted in the press release.
Laptops based on Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 are targeted at "education users, first-line workers, and everyday light consumers," where pricing is critical. Two-in-one PCs like the LTE-enabled JP.IK Turn T101 starts at just $299, whereas the Positivo Wise N1212S begins at $575 – both of which ran the original Snapdragon 7c Gen 1.
For performance, Qualcomm notes Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 "is up to ten percent faster system performance over most competing platforms," referring to Intel's budget line of processors like the dual-core Celeron N4020, quad-core Pentium Silver N5030 as well as MediaTek's octa-core ARM-based MT8183 used in Android-based tablets. Additionally, Qualcomm boasts about it getting "up to 2 times the battery life of most competing platforms."
As to which companies will adopt Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, Lenovo is mentioned as launching new devices with the affordable chip "later this year." That is perhaps not too surprising as Lenovo just participated in a roundtable with Qualcomm on the future of the PC, making them a key partner in ARM adoption. The first device, manufacturer un-specified, with Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, is due this summer.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.