Any laptop verified through Intel’s Project Athena innovation program will be allowed to display a new visual identifier badge, but thankfully not stuck to the laptop chassis.
First revealed back in January, Project Athena is Intel’s way of pushing the envelope on laptop design. Now Intel has revealed the visual identifier (badge) vendors can use for hardware verified as up to the Project Athena standard.
Intel’s aim for Project Athena is to create a new generation of long-life, low-power, high-performance laptops, all using Intel hardware of course. Half the battle is getting hardware vendors to sign up, where as the other half is getting consumers excited and on board with the idea. Seeing a badge next to a laptop proclaiming “Engineered for Mobile Performance” is Intel’s idea for doing just that.
Intel is carrying out verification for Project Athena itself, which is why back in May the chip giant announced three labs were opening for testing laptops. Passing the tests means a laptop is classed as “co-engineered with Intel” and the visual identifier badge can be used “across PC manufacturer, retailer and other online listings and product detail pages, as well as on in-store display systems, demos and packaging.” There’s no plans to stick the badge on the laptop chassis, which I for one am very happy to hear.
As to what the Project Athena standard means for end users who buy one of these verified laptops, expect hardware that achieves over nine hours of real-world wireless web browsing on one charge, can re-charge four hours of battery life in 30 minutes, and capable of waking from sleep mode in less than a second. They will have a Core i5 or Core i7 processor, at least 8GB of RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD, and 12- to 16-inch displays with 1080p or higher touch screens. As for connectivity, expect a Thunderbolt 3 port, Wi-Fi 6, and the option of a Gigabit LTE modem.
The first laptop to carry this new badge is the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, which uses Intel’s 10nm processors. The next laptops to join Dell will be a variant of the HP EliteBoox x360 1040 and the EliteBook x360 830, both of which are expected to arrive in the next few weeks. Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Samsung all have Project Athena verified laptops coming to market soon, too.