Why Always Connected PC’s will Morph Into an All-Day Battery (and Beyond) Focus

I was in Hawaii recently to attend Qualcomm’s launch event for their Always Connected PC initiative. Qualcomm created a laptop design that uses their Snapdragon 835 mobile processor to power what they dubbed an “Always Connected PC.” The premise is that with the Snapdragon 835, which includes the LTE radio in its design, that people will be more likely to want a portable computer that can always be connected and have at least 20 hours of battery life.

They may be right, but to date, laptops with LTE built in have not been significant hits. In fact, in our research on iPads, we found that 50% of all iPads sold include the LTE radio chip but that only 25% of those machines ever activate the LTE radios that are inside.

I think the bigger story from this event and the one that probably should be their lead story is the incredible battery life one will get with this type of laptop. Imagine heading off for the day and not even having to think about carrying a power cord for the notebook since you know you will get at least 20 hours of real use on this type of portable computer.

I think what Qualcomm has done has broken new ground in PC designs, and while I like the Always-Connected PC concept, I think their push also to create what I call “all-day” computing may be their more significant contribution to the world of portable computing.

I believe that the concept of an all-day computer could become the next big thing in laptops. While some of our ultra-thin notebooks can squeeze up to 12-14 hours of use, if you do any serious video processing or use the laptops graphics processor often, total battery life is more like 5-7 hours at best. I have at least seven ultrabooks or ultra-thin laptops, and with videos playing and a graphics-based game playing in separate windows simultaneously, I am lucky if I get 5-6 hours from any one of these thinner laptops.

While this new idea of 20 hours of battery life will become the new rallying cry for all laptop makers in the next two years, the term Always Connected and All Day computing does not roll off the tongue. I believe that Qualcomm, Intel and the industry in general needs to come up with a reliable, identifiable name as they initially did with the term Netbook or Ultrabook to define a specific type of new laptop design that can work all day even if you want to watch videos, play games or do productivity.

Since Qualcomm and Intel believe connectivity is key to all day computers, a name that either directly states or hints to connectivity should be in this type of portable computing moniker. However, I am still not convinced that people will activate the LTE connection given the fact that laptops and even iPads that have them in them now have low activation rates. On the other hand, I am convinced that an all-day 20+ hour laptop will resonate big time with mobile users and in that sense, this should be the real focus of any device and dedicated naming scheme related to this new type of mobile computing experience.

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Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.

2 thoughts on “Why Always Connected PC’s will Morph Into an All-Day Battery (and Beyond) Focus”

  1. You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read a single thing like that before. So great to find someone with some original thoughts on this topic. Really..

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