Tuxedo Computers teases Snapdragon X Elite Prototype Linux Laptop!

At Computex 2024, TUXEDO Computers revealed a new prototype laptop that may be a game changer in the Linux hardware space. For any hardware addict out there, the Linux laptop space has been ramping up lately with a variety of new hardware options but a powerful ARM based laptop have been few and far between. TUXEDO Computers is aiming to fill that void with a new laptop powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite 12 Core ARM Processor that they showed off as a prototype at Computex.

This prototype is built with a premium all-aluminium body, and a weight of just 1.36 kg (2.9 lbs). It has a 14-inch display featuring a 2560 x 1600 resolution (16:10), with 400 nits maximum brightness, and 100% sRGB coverage. The SoC (system on a chip) is wired to 32 GB of LPDDR5X memory, and it uses an M.2-2280 Gen 4 slot for storage. Given the platform’s low TDP (Thermal Design Power), TUXEDO has given this a lightweight 50 Wh battery. Connectivity includes USB4 and HDMI. The company is working on a Linux distribution and software support package that ensures every hardware component on the platform is fully exposed and supported by the OS, which is why Tuxedo considers this still a prototype.

This is huge news because up to this point, Windows has been the only platform being discussed by major hardware vendors working on powerful ARM based processors. Apple has raised the bar when it comes to laptop hardware, for years Apple has always been a choice of convenience over performance but with the introduction of their ARM based M chips, Apple has become a solid option for performance as well. What does that mean for this? To quote from TUXEDO’s press release.

“Benchmarks from Qualcomm suggest that the new Snapdragon can not only catch up with the competition, but also clearly outperform Apple’s M2 SoCs whilst showing higher energy efficiency. Our preliminary measurements confirm these values”

That brings up the question, is Qualcomm doing anything for Linux support, and turns out, they are. Qualcomm posted on their Developer Blog about “Upstreaming Linux kernel support for the Snapdragon X Elite“. Which is very exciting to see for me, when I first heard of this hardware I was a bit cautious because of the limitations of ARM but for them to upstream support to Linux, that is exciting.

the Tuxedo prototype sitting on top of a brown conference table.
(Image credit: ComputerBase)

TUXEDO is making themselves more and more of a standout Linux device supplier and if they can get this to market it will make a big splash. They are confident that this will become a product, they just arent sure on the timeline. This is what they had to say regarding availability.

“We have been working with a first prototype for some time, which will soon be replaced by a second one. The development is still in the alpha stage, as some drivers are still missing, which will hopefully be available with the next two kernel versions. It is quite conceivable that an ARM notebook from TUXEDO will be under your Christmas tree in 2024. However, there are still too many pieces of the hardware, software and delivery capability puzzle missing to even begin to set a release date. TUXEDO for ARM will come, but we don’t yet know exactly when.”

I know, I am very excited about the possibilities of this new laptop. I used to be one of those people who hated ARM processors because of the fact that you have to build specifically for them and universal support for software just isnt a thing with them. Okay, I still hate that but having used a M1 Macbook for testing the experience, I do have to say the performance and battery life of those laptops are very impressive and I would absolutely LOVE to have a Linux powered laptop like that.

There is more to this story and we dive a bit deeper into the specs and possibilities and why this could be so important in the latest episode of Destination Linux podcast. So you would like to know more, you’ll find links in the show notes for sources and to Destination Linux 374.

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