Watch Out, Intel: Qualcomm Puts Smartphone Chips in Laptops

Qualcomm and Microsoft are taking another shot at using smartphone chips in personal computers -- promising 20 hours of battery life and full use of Windows 10 software.

Qualcomm announced at a technology conference Tuesday in Hawaii that three computer makers -- Asus, H-P and Lenovo -- would roll out 2-in-1 laptops powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips in the spring of 2018.

The devices, which include Gigabit LTE cellular connections, always on capabilities and long battery life, are expected to be priced from $500 to $800.

The move marks the second try by Microsoft and Qualcomm to use smartphone technologies in laptops -- invading turf now dominated by Intel.

About five years ago, Microsoft rolled out the trimmed down Windows RT operating system for tablets that was compatible with ARM-based smartphone processors from Qualcomm and others.

But devices running Windows RT failed to gain traction with consumers, in part because it didn't support some popular programs such as Adobe Photoshop.

These latest 2-in-1 devices are capable of running the full-blown Windows 10 operating system and support Photoshop and other popular software.

"The Always Connected PC is here, and it brings the best of the smartphone to the PC," said Qualcomm Executive Vice President Cristiano Amon. "It will give you a gigabit LTE experience anywhere in a light, fan-less, portable design with beyond 20 hours of battery life. It changes the definition of what you should expect in a PC, and it is on the Windows 10 platform."

Qualcomm and Microsoft first announced that they were working together to bring smartphone chips to portable computers about a year ago. Snapdragon-powered devices won't have the processing horsepower of some PCs running Intel or AMD chips.

But Qualcomm and Microsoft hope the tradeoff in longer battery life -- more than 20 hours compared with seven hours -- coupled with Gigabit LTE connectivity...

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