Intel’s Project Athena laptops: 30-minute charge for 4 hours use


8, 2019

Author Atiya // in AI, Hardware

Laptops are convenient for getting work done away from home; but after a heavy few hours of laptop use, you’ll undoubtedly end up buying an overpriced coffee just so you can charge it in a café.

Intel’s upcoming Project Athena laptop range will deliver at least 9 hours of real-world battery life, so your new work environment can be the park or the beach, if you prefer.

Real-world battery life takes into account simultaneous tasks, including streaming videos and web browsing, whilst running multiple Office tasks.  Current Intel laptops advertise up to 20 hours of battery life; but this only includes lightweight tasks on airplane mode.

If 9 hours isn’t enough, a 30-minute express top-up will keep you going for a further 4 hours.

Currently, the only way to make this possible is by pairing a low-voltage CPU with a huge battery; but this would make the laptop more chunky and heavy than intended.  To achieve their goal of boosting battery life without compromising performance or portability, Intel are teaming up with component makers in the upcoming Project Athena Open Labs, this June.

Component makers will bring their products -for validation and further optimisation- to the 3 labs across US, Taiwan and China.  The idea of “Open Labs” is that participating companies will have access to Intel’s experts round the clock, thus increasing the chance of us seeing more innovative features in the upcoming products.

A battery-saving AI feature that’s already in the works uses the camera to dim the screen when you’re AFK.  Despite the always-on camera, only a few milliwatts of power are required to power the laptop’s components.  Considering that the display accounts for around 50% total power consumption, it’s definitely an effective energy-saving strategy.

Whilst it may sound counter-intuitive, the camera being on can actually help to protect your privacy.  Thanks to partners Tobii and Mirametrix, you can blur the screen if you look away, or if a nosy stranger is trying to catch a glimpse of your screen.

You also don’t have to worry about said person seeing your password when logging in, with “instant resume” logging you on upon recognition of your face using Windows Hello.

At least 10 Project Athena laptops, that start at $800, are expected to be released towards the end of this year.  At the Computex event in 3 weeks, Intel will confirm further details.

Source: engadget

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