Qualcomm's mobile chipsets power the best Android phones, and the manufacturer is now making strides into the notebook segment. The Snapdragon 7c platform debuted earlier this year and is making its way to a few Chromebooks — notably the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 — and Qualcomm is launching an updated variant dubbed the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2.
At the outset, there really isn't a whole lot of difference between the two chipsets in terms of the hardware. The Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 is also built on an 8nm node and features an octa-core design with Kryo 468 cores that go up to 2.55GHz (up from 2.40GHz on the 7c), and it works with LPDDR4X memory modules and eMMC 5.1 as well as UFS 2.1 storage modules.
The Adreno 618 GPU is also unchanged from the 7C, and it has Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi ac, and AptX HD. Qualcomm says the 7C Gen 2 will leverage the Spectra 255 image signal processor and Aqstic audio tech to offer "crystal-clear" video and clearer audio for Zoom calls. There's also echo cancellation and noise suppression powered by the AI engine.
Now, the first-gen 7c also has the Aqstic audio stack, so it will be interesting to see if Qualcomm offers these changes for that chipset as well. The 7C Gen 2 gets new security features for Windows, and Qualcomm is touting a new connectivity feature that lets the chipset seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data based if your home Wi-Fi is overloaded.
As for battery life, Qualcomm says the 7c Gen 2 offers 60% increased performance per watt over the likes of Intel-based silicon in this segment. Those figures mean you should see up to 19 hours of continuous use from a full charge.
Connectivity is a big part of Qualcomm's positioning, with the chip vendor noting that 3.41 million notebooks with 4G connectivity were sold in 2020. That number has already hit 6 million in 2021, and Qualcomm is continuing this push by offering the Snapdragon X15 LTE modem in the 7c Gen 2. The modem itself is unchanged from the 7c, but Qualcomm notes that with global 4G onboard, device makers will have an easier time integrating the design into their upcoming products.
The first set to devices to be powered by the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 will be debuting this summer, with the chipset coming to entry-level Windows notebooks and Chromebooks.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.
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