Intel's Project Athena portfolio now includes Chromebooks and (soon) Foldables

Credit: Fergus Halliday

Intel's ambitions for Project Athena continued to grow at this year's CES, with the tech titan announcing the first Athena-grade Chromebooks and foldable devices. 

Intel's CES 2020 press conference covered a lot of topics from their first dedicated GPU to the Australian bushfires. However, one thing the company kept returning to mobile computing and - specifically - the rising tide of thinner, lighter Project Athena laptops. 

If you're unfamiliar, essentially, Project Athena is Intel's effort to corral the rest of the PC market into shape. More than just passively setting a set of standards for what constitutes a thin and light laptop, Project Athena involves Intel going out and working with OEMs like Dell, HP and Lenovo to help them optimise their hardware and achieve thinner, lighter laptops with performance and battery life. 

Until now, this initiative has only included Windows PCs. However, as of this week, the Project Athena family got its first two Chromebooks in the form of the ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook.

Credit: Fergus Halliday

Intel expects to verify approximately 50 more designs across Windows and Chrome this year. They're also looking to deliver a target specification for dual-screen PCs like Microsoft's Surface Neo and the freshly-unveiled Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

As part of this, Intel's Executive Vice President Gregory Bryant showed off a foldable OLED concept code-named “Horseshoe Bend.” 

Intel say the experimental device is based on their upcoming Tiger Lake mobile processors. It features a design similar in size to a 12-inch laptop that can then be opened up and extended to become a 17-inch screen.

Even if Horseshoe Bend never makes it to market, it's still good to know that Intel is just as interested in looking at how the laptops of tomorrow fit into Project Athena as it is the PCs of today. 

Disclosure - our coverage of CES 2020 was sponsored by Intel and Dell, who covered the cost of our flights to the US and our accommodation for the duration of our stay in Las Vegas.

Credit: Fergus Halliday

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