Ahead of Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm unveiled Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem. While it promises to bring fast data connectivity to the next generation of 5G smartphones, Windows Central reports that the modem also holds potential in transforming Always Connected PCs — the ultraportable laptops and 2-in-1s which are powered by the ARM-based processors found inside your phone.
Though the market for 5G and even the Always Connected PC is still growing with consumers, the new Snapdragon X55 can provide download speeds of up to 7Gbps and upload speeds of 3Gbps. It also maintains multi-mode support for 5G, 4G and 2G networks for maximum compatibility. That beats out the speeds set by the Snapdragon X50 modem, which peaks out at 5Gbps download.
Numbers aside, it means that heading into the future the incoming wave of new Always Connected PCs running with the latest Snapdragon 8cX processor and the Snapdragon X55 could get the similar connectivity benefits of 5G smartphones. On top of the impressive battery life already offered by Always Connected PCs, the potential for 5G increases the future selling point for the devices falling under the currently struggling platform. Depending on which laptop makers choose to adopt the emerging technology, consumers would be able to download, stream videos, and enjoy other internet content on PCs faster than they would on 4G speeds or with Wi-Fi.
“With significant evolution in capabilities and performance, our second generation commercial 5G modem is a true testament to the maturity and leadership of our 5G technology,” Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon said in a statement. “We expect our 5G platform to accelerate 5G commercial momentum and power virtually all 5G launches in 2019 while significantly expanding the global 5G rollout footprint.”
Currently, there is just a small selection of Always Connected PCs which support 4G connectivity. That includes last generation Snapdragon 835 powered devices like HP’s Envy X2, or Lenovo’s Miix 630. A newer wave of Snapdragon 850 Always Connected PCs packing improved performance includes the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 and Lenovo’s Yoga C630. While offering all-day battery life, many reviewers have found these devices don’t show the same power as PCs with Intel processors, so the potential of 5G and the new Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 and the Snapdragon 8cX processor could be significant in the future.
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