Intel, in partnership with laptop manufacturers Dell, HP and Lenovo, have unveiled a list of new and upcoming laptops, all of which comply with the experience indicators and target specifications mentioned by the company under its Project Athena innovation programme. The target laptops here include Dell's Inspiron 14 5000, Latitude 7400 2-in-1 and XPS 13 2-in-1, HP's EliteBook x360 1040, EliteBook x360 1030 G4 and EliteBook x360 830, and Lenovo's new generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon. With Project Athena, Intel aims to create a set of usage or experience indicators that define how a new generation laptop can be used, and a set of specifications that these laptops are to follow in order to maintain these usage standards.
For example, the new Dell Inspiron 14 5490 laptop SKUs are among the latest to be compliant with Intel's Project Athena specifications. It features the 14nm Intel Comet Lake processors, beginning with at least a Core i5-10210u. 8GB DDR4 memory is mandatory, and at least 512GB of M.2 NVMe SSDs are consistently present across the lineup. 14-inch full HD displays make for optimum viewing size, while the present of a universal USB-C 3.1 port doubles up as charging and DisplayPort connectivity. Future Project Athena laptops are also expected to feature Wi-Fi 6 multi-gigabit connectivity, while remaining thin, light, and featuring touch displays, convertible designs and more.
Alongside the above-mentioned laptops, Intel has further stated that through IFA 2019, OEM partners such as Acer, Asus, and MSI will join Dell, HP and Lenovo in announcing new laptops listed under Project Athena. The biggest draw for Project Athena lies in preparing laptops to meet specific standards of modern-day computing. Specifications and features listed by Intel's Project Athena state that laptops need to boot very quickly, offer seamless performance, consistent and high-speed connectivity, and feature the latest connectivity ports, in order to qualify for being certified by Project Athena. In the long run, Intel aims to establish this as an industry-wide standard that customers can rely on when buying a product.
Intel also announced optimisation of components such as SSDs, displays and other aspects of a laptop, in order to help OEMs and component vendors optimise their offerings for compliance with Project Athena. The chipset manufacturer will hope to have a blanket effect on the industry in a bid to make laptops significantly lighter, slimmer and more consistent in terms of the performance they deliver, and it remains to be seen how big an impact it ends up having on the industry.