Moving One (Small) Step Closer to 8cx Powered Hardware

Posted on May 27, 2019 by Brad Sams in Hardware with 15 Comments

It was back in December when Qualcomm unveiled the 8cx, a new ARM chip designed for running Windows. Since that announcement, news around the product has been relatively quiet but that is changing today.

This week in Taipei, COMPUTEX is happening which means everyone from Intel to AMD will be making an announcement around products coming later this year. Think of COMPUTEX like CES, but for products that you actually care about, and Lenovo is announcing its new 8cx device that it is calling Project Limitless.

This new device, which you can’t buy and we don’t even know the full-specs or performance characteristics of, is the next generation of the ‘Always Connected PC’. The device is running Windows-on-ARM, supports 5G connectivity, and will have significant performance improvements over the previous generation 835 powered Windows laptops.

The device that Lenovo showed off has an 8cx running at 2.8 GHz with 16GB of RAM and according to Qualcomm, has the performance of roughly Intel’s Core i5-8250U. The device also has ‘multi-day’ battery life but knowing the 835 had somewhere around 14hrs of real-world usage, I would put this device somewhere slightly north of that figure.

The other big draw for this device is that it natively supports 5G connectivity. While 5G networks are only starting to materialize, 5G devices are quickly heading to market with most smartphone manufacturers announcing devices with support for the new networks.

But here’s the bad news, it looks like 8cx devices won’t be arriving anytime soon. According to Lenovo, this hardware won’t ship until early 2020 which means that it is roughly a year away from wide-scale availability. And that seems like a significant blow to the Windows-on-Arm platform as it will take nearly two years to get a significant refresh from the much older 835 devices that are currently available.

Even though we are still many months away from this device hitting the market, the 8cx will provide another option for the consumer and if the battery life claims hold true, a multi-day Windows laptop does sound incredibly appealing.

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