Intel’s Project Athena is “Engineered for Mobile Performance”

Posted on August 10, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10 with 18 Comments

This week, Intel announced that laptops verified through its Project Athena program will feature a visual identifier labeled “Engineered for Mobile Performance.”

Yes. It’s a sticker.

“With Project Athena, we are fundamentally changing our approach to innovation by defining the program and its methodologies through the lens of how people use their devices every day,” Intel’s Josh Newman says. “On-the-move, ambitious people turn to their laptops across every facet of their lives – work, home, and passion projects. ‘Engineered for Mobile Performance’ refers to the high-quality experience consumers can expect from these laptops enabled by deep co-engineering from Intel and its partners.”

With Project Athena, Intel seeks to address the one major complaint about its PC-based processor chipsets, which is related to mobility. Intel has shown that its x86/x64 processors scale upwards well, but it’s been slow to address the threat from Qualcomm and other mobile chipset makers, whose products often offer more than double the battery life of Intel’s.

Dell is first to market with the new sticker: The new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has been verified to meet Project Athena’s requirements, which include “target specification and key experience indicators (KEIs)” such as instant action, performance and responsiveness, intelligence, battery life, connectivity and form factor. More Project Athena-verified laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung will be available by the holiday selling season, Intel says.

So what are those target specifications? According to an Intel “fact sheet,” they include 16 or more hours of battery life in video playback or 9 or more hours of battery life in real-world performance conditions. The PCs must support instant resume, including system wake from sleep, in less than one second. And they must have an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 8 GB or more of RAM and 256 GB or more of NVMe-based SSD storage. Gigabit LTE is optional.

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (18)

18 responses to “Intel’s Project Athena is “Engineered for Mobile Performance””

  1. Avatar

    christian.hvid

    Just what we need. Another Intel sticker on our laptops.

  2. Avatar

    Tony Barrett

    So this is just marketing bull in reality. Nothing more. Same (expensive) device, just with a new sticker. Yay! Progress marches forward.

    I'm sure to meet these KEI's, the laptop needs to be running the latest generation (Intel) CPU for a start - nothing else will do! So, empty your bank accounts people, and make sure you get a new (Intel) laptop with this lovely new sticker to make to feel all warm and cuddly inside.

    AMD, please put Intel out of their misery. They're obviously out of ideas.

  3. Avatar

    smartin

    I have to say I was following this all until I was suddenly triggered by the abbreviation: 'KEI'


    That took me back to an old Baby Bell company that I worked for that had the same initials. Great place to work until that day when a bunch of guys wearing black jackets with the letters 'FBI' on the back came in the door.


    Thanks for that.

  4. Avatar

    RickEveleigh

    Hmmmm Dell XPS 13 as the first one? With 'performance' on the sticker? Dealing with a fundamental performance issue at one customer where they have hundreds of XPS 13s (slightly older generation but relatively recent) which have i7-7Y75 chips @ 1.3GHz and even with 16GB RAM are struggling with reasonably standard business usage (e.g. Skype for Business video conference -- which for me fits with 'on-the-move, ambitious people'). Hope the 'certified' XPS 13 here has a significantly better CPU...

    • Avatar

      jchampeau

      In reply to RickEveleigh:

      If it has the Y-series processor, it's probably the 2-in-1, not the standard XPS 13. I have an XPS 13 2-in-1 with the same processor and it runs like a champ for me. Even when I spin up a couple VMs for a demo, it handles the load without any noticeable difference between it and my powerful Core i7 desktop PC with 24 GB RAM. Makes me wonder if that customer has installed something or done something to them that's affecting performance.

  5. Avatar

    Dan

    Your Windows laptop doesn’t have enough stickers. Here’s one more.

  6. Avatar

    glenn8878

    Jntel inside means not designed for mobile.

  7. Avatar

    jwpear

    I get the frustration with the sticker, but I do think the strategy of adding something visible to help consumers understand what they're getting is needed. It may help get some folks to do research ahead of a purchase or, at a minimum, ask some questions at the store. And maybe this will put some additional pressure on Intel and the manufacturers to make meaningful changes to improve the experience and battery life for everyday activities.


    I've come to see the latest battery life estimates to be what they are--more marketing fluff. Yes, machines get better battery life than they did 5 or so years ago, but they're not in full day territory for normal activities unless you have the under powered Y processors or something like a Surface Book. I think quoting 16 hours of battery life watching a video is a disservice to the consumer. It's shady. Typical consumers see that and immediately think they'll get 16 hours of battery life period. They're soon disappointed with the machine, Intel, and Windows. They see that all as one thing, one failure.


    Thinking optimistically about the sticker, maybe you get this sticker OR the normal sticker.

  8. Avatar

    codymesh

    Intel.

    Please fire whoever came up with "engineered for mobile performance". Good lord.

  9. Avatar

    jimchamplin

    What I love is an effort so corporate it can't even try to have any personality.


    They're really looking out for me with those Key Experience Indicators.

  10. Avatar

    evox81

    I agree with most... The sticker is kinda dumb... But I feel like this is a reasonable goal. Sure, it's a marketing ploy by Intel, but a future where many, if not most, laptops have a minimum of 8GB of RAM and NVME storage is a step in the right direction.


    They've done well with this type of program in the past (Centrino) and the end result was positive movement in the laptop space. I'm all for it.

  11. Avatar

    wright_is

    Please, no more stickers! The first thing I do when setting up new machines at work is strip off all the damned stickers! Half of the Intel ones use a glue that is so strong that it is often difficult to remove completely, sometimes I'm still removing the remained of the glue when the installation and configuration of the laptop is finished!

  12. Avatar

    jchampeau

    I was really worried about Intel there for a minute. I thought Qualcomm might beat them at their own game. But now they have a new program and a sticker. Whew.

  13. Avatar

    ruusterc

    this is sad intel cant compete in chips so its become a company that just trys to classify new types of computers with stickers

  14. Avatar

    jazzpackages

    Jazz Helpline Number..With Project Athena, Intel seeks to address the one major complaint about its PC-based processor chipsets.

Leave a Reply