As the first Always Connected PCs running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform will start shipping later this quarter, Intel can’t really afford to let its competitor lead the “connected PC” narrative. And as Mobile Word Congress is now just a couple of days away, Intel has just announced its plans to bring 5G to mobile PCs next year.
The chip maker is teaming up with Microsoft, Dell, HP and Lenovo to create new PCs with 5G connectivity using Intel’s XMM 8060 5G multimode modem. The company expects the first 5G-connected PCs to be launched in the second half of 2019, which should give some time to carriers around the world to build their 5G networks.
Next week, Intel plans to show off a concept 5G-connected 2-in-1 PC at Mobile World Congress. The prototype will use an Intel 8th gen core i5 processor and a “early 5G modem,” and attendees will be able to see how fast it is for live-streaming video over 5G.
“Intel is investing deeply across its wireless portfolio and partners to bring 5G-connected mobile PCs to market, with benefits for users, like high-quality video on-the-go, high-end gaming, and seamless connections as users traverse Wi-Fi and cellular networks,” the company explained. It will likely be years before 5G networks become ubiquitous, but Intel’s 5G modems should also support older 3G and LTE networks, which should already be great for consumers.
It will be interesting to see how the competition between Intel and Qualcomm will push forward the new Always Connected PC category. Mobile PCs with Qualcomm ARM processors will likely deliver better battery life, while systems with Intel processors will benefit from full compatibility with x86 desktop apps and drivers. Anyway, we hope this new PC category will lead to more innovation as well as more choice for consumers.