With the release of the first Ice Lake-U laptops, Intel has announced that there will be a badge/visual identifier for laptops that comply with Intel's Project Athena standard. The ‘Engineered for Mobile Performance’ label will be used for online listings, product pages, on in-store display systems, on packaging, and for demonstrations. Do note, however, that there won't be any ‘Engineered for Mobile Performance’ badges on actual notebooks. Apparently, neither Intel nor PC makers want to put badges on the chassis of premium computers (this itself typically being treated as a premium feature).

Stylized like a medal, Intel’s ‘Engineered for Mobile Performance’ label indicates that a particular notebook meets Intel’s key experience indicators (KEI) for Athena laptops, which stipulate requirements for performance, features, and battery life, among other things. As previously announced, Intel is doing Athena verification itself, so any product carrying the label means that it has been verified by Intel’s tests and conducted by Intel’s specialists.

With the Athena specifications set to be revised every year, for this first year’s ‘Engineered for Mobile Performance’ notebooks that comply with the Project Athena v1.0 specification, Intel wants the following.

Intel Project Athena v. 1.0 Requirements
Feature Requirement
Form-Factor An ultra-thin clamshell or convertible notebook, or a 2-in-1 hybrid PC.
Display Touch-enabled 12 – 15-inch display with narrow bezels.
At least a Full-HD resolution.
Stylus support
Internal Hardware Intel’s 10th Gen Core i5 or Core i7 processor with Intel Dynamic Tuning Technology.
At least 8 GB of dual-channel DRAM.
At least a 256 GB NVMe SSD with or without Optane H10 caching SSD.
Responsiveness Consistent responsiveness both on battery and on power outlet.
Instant Action Connected Standby/Lucid Sleep support.
Wake up from sleep in less than a second.
Wake up to Internet browsing time should not exceed two seconds.
Wireless Connectivity Wi-Fi 6 and optional Gigabit LTE.
Wired Connectivity Thunderbolt 3.
Battery Life At least 9 hours of mixed-workload battery life at 250 nits display brightness.
At least 16 hours of local video playback.
Fast charge support.
Intelligence Far Field microphone with voice services.
Hardware-accelerated OpenVINO AI and WinML support (which requires Ice Lake).
Interaction Backlit keyboard, precision touchpad, touch display, stylus.

While the PC notebook market is (and will remain) widely varied in features, performance, and prices, Intel is ultimately aiming to tighten up the high-end portion of the market by giving its OEM/ODM partners goals, and matching incentives to reach them. PC hardware in general has been a continual race to the bottom – OEMs are always looking for an edge in costs/price – so in this respect Athena is an effort to entice OEMs to use higher-quality, more expensive (and frequently all-Intel) parts for better performance and greater energy efficiency. Intel is no stranger to this strategy, having employed something similar for both their Centrino and Ultrabook programs, so they are once again turning to it to shape the direction of high-end laptops going into 2020, as well as fending off a push from Arm-based laptops.

The first laptop to meet Intel’s Project Athena program requirements is Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 model 7390 that became available on August 8. Shortly, Acer’s Swift 5, HP’s Envy 13 Wood Series, and Lenovo’s Yoga S940 will also make their debut.

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Source: Intel

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  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - link

    If you don't use it, who cares if it's on there or not? I imagine the high end screens nowadays being manufactured have touch screen support, and mandating it on everything likely has an effect on consolidating different screen types and brings costs down a bit.
  • Dragonstongue - Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - link

    Kudos to Google for Lucid sleep (pain in arse to google search it though..just comes up with lucid dreaming.....stupid google...lol

    so, total power down, but can still do "limited things" tat is very very cool, but ultimately VERY dangerous if they "screw up"...

    "they won't"

    ummmmmm....Intel is still "security fraught" MSFT is having it;s own issues so they went with Google for a good chunk of internet web stuff (recently and going forward)
    then google goes and screws its email "filters"

    you know, the one where you say to delete and not send to spam a unique contact name.....you still get them stupid @$#@#$ emails anyways, same #$%$#@% contact sender that google servers state "this .... address does not exist or not set up to get incoming/outgoing connections......

    so they can send mails to YOUR server to MY email and all is well, but cannot "prevent" because that sender "does not exist"



    anyways....is cool, seems like Intel might be headed in this direction i.e mobile (ultra low power where they are near top of the pile all around) and the HEDT / Server stuff (why not, make $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ without do much than they have done for decades (rinse and repeat)

    still, if the cpu/gpu makers actually went to town and made them as best as can be "battery wise" why are these only lasting maybe 20% more than average phone (is beyond me)

    i.e my phone, I can watch videos for better part of 3 days "non stop" at brightness I can tolerate (not dark/not bright in average dimmer room (eye issue)

    imo...if a phone can have a battery ~1/4 the size (something along those line, for 3200+Mah (that 3.2watt hour, these things that have all kinds of room for "massive" battery.. they not all that much better (unless pay through nose for them dual extra HD thick as brick custom battery and specific laptop that can use)
  • sorten - Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - link

    "The first laptop to meet Intel’s Project Athena program requirements is Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 model 7390 that became available on August 8."

    The $1000 model doesn't have enough RAM to qualify.
  • sorten - Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - link

    You have to spend $1400 on the Dell before you get 8GB of RAM.
  • jordanclock - Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - link

    Which is why the $1000 model doesn't have the badge on Dell's website.


    The 8GB+ models all have the badge on their image.
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - link

    So logically, the AMD version will be Minerva? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minerva
  • Samus - Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - link

    As an IT director, I think this is a great idea as a baseline recommendation for a business-class laptop. Instead of telling people a bunch of shit they don't understand or writing out a list of specs, I can (mostly) safely say go buy one that complies with "Engineered for Mobile Performance"

    Mostly, because I find the requirement for a touch screen somewhat problematic. That requires a glossy screen, which a lot of people do not like depending on their working environment, and a feature, frankly, few people use in business. That's an unfortunate requirement and seems like a Microsoft push, not an Intel push.

    But perhaps there will be outliers that don't have touch screens...
  • yankeeDDL - Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - link

    256GB ...
    In 2019, I don't get it. I really don't. What can you do with 256GB?
    At home I have a 32TB NAS for the files, so with 1TB on laptops/desktops it's OK.
    I have a work laptop, however, with 256GB and it is an absolute nightmare to manage the files. I have to swap USB sticks and rely on network storage to compensate. I find it ridiculous, really.
    Of 256GB, 50GB are used by Windows, 9GB by the various swap and paging files, 12GB by programs and 30GB by emails. So nearly 110GB are pretty much non-usable. So you're left with ~140GB for your files ...
    I have about 100GB of photos on my cell phone (which has 400GB storage, BTW).
    256GB should disappear, and the sooner, the better, but certainly it cannot be acceptable for a high-end mobile platform.
  • evilpaul666 - Saturday, August 17, 2019 - link

    Are they going to include actual, effective coolers? Seems like something that would be great to have over 1mm less thickness.

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