Qualcomm announces its second-generation Snapdragon processor for Windows 10 devices

Qualcomm Snapdragon 850

Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered computers didn’t exactly take off this year, but the smartphone processor maker hopes to turn things around with its new Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor designed specifically for always-connected PCs.

At Computex 2018, Qualcomm claimed that its new processor will bring 30% improved performance alongside 20% improved battery life compared to the previous Snapdragon 835 chip that made its way into devices like the Asus NovaGo, Lenovo Miix 630 and HP Envy x2.

These performance increases come thanks to Qualcomm tuning its 2nd-generation 10nm process specifically for computing and making improvements to power delivery. As in smartphones, Qualcomm says its Snapdragon processor on PCs offloads many of the maintenance-based functions to low-energy cores to improve power efficiency.

Beyond core performance, the Snapdragon 850 also comes with a new Snapdragon x20 LTE modem, allowing PCs to tap into the 10MHz Licensed LTE band for greater international connectivity. Qualcomm also claims its next-generation PCs will offer 20% or faster LTE modem speeds.

Ultra HD or 4K playback and capture are both now enabled thanks to the new Qualcomm Adreno 630 visual processing engine. Meanwhile, we could soon see virtual surround sound, as the new chip supports Qualcomm’s Aqstic & aptX audio standard.

While no new devices were announced at Qualcomm’s press event, Samsung appeared on stage to say we can expect a Snapdragon-powered PC from it later this year.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.