Matt Hanson, UK Computing Editor
While I always eagerly await the giant strides computing technology makes with each new year, in 2018 I’m looking forward to some of the smaller revolutions, that may not be quite as flashy, but will have just as profound an effect on the way we use our computers.
Microsoft and Qualcomm’s partnership in 2017 to bring ‘always on’ laptops with much improved battery lives should really begin to bear fruit in 2018, with a number of powerful Snapdragon 835-powered devices coming throughout the year.
These laptops won’t need to connect to Wi-Fi, instead using LTE data, much like smartphones, which will make using them when not connected to your home or work network much safer, and also faster. The potential of 20 hours of battery life is also very impressive.
Other than that, I have an obscenely powerful gaming PC, and I’d really like to see 2018 bring some graphically demanding games that really puts it to the test, and will show why PC is the best platform to play video games on.
Joe Osborne, Senior Editor
The most exciting bit of computing I see on the 2018 horizon is the modular, upgradeable Mac Pro computer that Apple won’t stop talking about. No, really: Apple actually mentioned it in a press release this year for the iMac Pro!
For Apple to tease this product in a press release for an entirely different one leads us to believe that it’s something worth getting hyped about. Plus, we were all enamored by the previous Mac Pro design enough to clamor for updates for the past several years.
That interest likely lies in the words ‘modular’ and ‘upgradeable’, which we rarely associate with Apple computing products these days. That said, we’re very interested in just how well this product lives up to those promises – not to mention that new display Apple is building in-house.
Beyond this, I’m also keen on seeing how Microsoft will react to this. Will we see a new Surface Studio to combat these pro-grade Apple computers? How about a new set of Surface tablets and laptops to keep ahead? Regardless, I want to see this rivalry keep up in 2018.
Kevin Lee, US Computing Editor
2018 is looking like the most exciting year for laptops in a long time. While Intel has almost been the only player in the mobile processor world, that’s going to change significantly with Qualcomm and AMD Rzyen entering the fray.
At the same time I feel as though 2018 could also be the most confusing year for laptops. Qualcomm, Intel Kaby Lake Refresh, Intel CPUs with Vega graphics, and AMD Ryzen will all be powering notebooks next year with varying levels of performances and graphical capability.
For one thing most standard x86 applications on a Snapdragon 835-powered laptop will have to run though a level of emulation to get them to work. We also may well see the option of buying notebooks with either Intel’s standard 8th gen processors, or their gaming-capable CPUs, and those configurations alone could further muddy the waters while buying a laptop.
This past year was one of the busiest years for components, with a seemingly never-ending barrage of new processors and graphics cards, and I can only imagine it's going to continue into 2018.
AMD Ryzen 2 for desktops is almost guaranteed to make its debut, and Intel would likely respond in kind to with its Ice Lake family of processors.
Nvidia has already begun laying the groundwork with it’s next generation Volta graphics card architecture as well. While we’ve only seen a few enterprise components from the Volta family and the Nvidia Titan V, I expect we’ll see consumer and gaming-focused products before the next holiday season. AMD is also likely to release more Vega graphics cards as well.