5 Snapdragon X Elite laptops that look set to challenge M3 MacBooks real soon

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite laptops
(Image credit: Future)

Apple silicon turbocharged the MacBook family and cemented its status as some of the best laptops you can buy for blistering performance and jaw-dropping power efficiency. With Snapdragon X Elite, however, that may all change.

You see, not only has Qualcomm proven it can annihilate Intel’s Core Ultra lineage in both CPU and NPU performance, but it can even surpass the M3 MacBook Air and even M3 Pro MacBook Pro in key multi-core metrics.

Not only that, but with the company’s promises of being able to do this while consuming 65% less power than Intel does, this could mean the Cupertino crew may finally meet its stamina match.

But what’s even better is that we don’t have long to wait. Qualcomm has confirmed we should start to see them in mid-2024, with rumors pointing to Microsoft’s consumer versions of the Surface systems coming at Build 2024. So let’s take a look at the 5 leaked laptops launching with X Elite (many on Geekbench), and see how they stack up to the might of Apple.

Disclaimer: all may not be as it seems

Of course, there is one big disclaimer here. As our sister site Techradar reported, during a Q&A event in London where we got to really test Qualcomm’s claims, power regulation is being left in the hands of hardware manufacturers.

That means the Thermal Design Power (TDP) may vary between systems — translation: the total wattage being run through the chipset may differ based on how thin and heat efficient the laptop is. This would be to avoid any serious thermal throttling, but it could also mean the general performance takes a hit.

Currently, we’re not seeing any giant deviations in the results of these (except for the Snapdragon X Plus in the Surface Pro 10). But it’s something to keep in mind.

Microsoft Surface Pro 10

Microsoft Surface Pro 10

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Wait… Haven’t we already seen the Surface Pro 10? Indeed you have, but as a business-only convertible sporting Intel Core Ultra. Turns out Microsoft has another trick up its sleeve, and will be launching a consumer version of the model with Qualcomm’s chipset.

Specifically, the one we’ve spotted on Geekbench packs a Snapdragon X Plus, and while we only have the ML Inference testing of the CPU (no single or multi-core results), we can combine this with what claims we heard during the announcement of this lower-end chip and see that we’ve got something interesting here that could put the M3 MacBook Air in trouble.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
LaptopGeekbench ML CPU score
Surface Pro 102410 (ONNX CPU Inference Score)
M3 MacBook Pro2383 (Core ML CPU)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 6

Surface Laptop 6 for Business promo image courtesy of Microsoft

(Image credit: Microsoft)

This looks set to be Microsoft’s heavy hitter of the two — sporting the Snapdragon X Elite. As you can see, it handily beats the M3 MacBook Air.

And it’s not surprising to see how easy this comparison is to draw. The Redmond team have done this by design, thanks to that premium aluminum construction, minimal port array, and a high-resolution display up top starting at a 13.5-inch diagonal. Sounds familiar to the Air, right?

Either way, I’m anticipating the Surface Laptop 6 will be the jewel in Microsoft’s crown to take on Apple.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
LaptopGeekbench 6 single coreGeekbench 6 multi-core
Surface Laptop 6271414078
M3 MacBook Air308212087

Samsung Galaxy Book 4 Edge

Samsung Galaxy Book 4

(Image credit: Samsung)

Well well well! Samsung has entered the chat. Gunning straight for the high-end space with a rumored pricing that will put it squarely in the $2,000+ luxury territory alongside other uber-premium thin and lights, the Book 4 Edge looks likely to share a lot of characteristics from the current Book 4 lineup.

That means a gorgeous large OLED touchscreen, a super thin and light metallic construction, gigantic trackpad and an impressive stamina thanks to that X Elite’s purported ability to sip that battery juice.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
LaptopGeekbench 6 single coreGeekbench 6 multi-core
Samsung Galaxy Book 4 Edge270612646
M3 MacBook Air308212087

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 14 2024 Snapdragon Edition left side

(Image credit: WalkingCat (@_h0x0d_))

Next up to the batting plate is Lenovo — taking its slim, sleek and premium Yoga Slim 7 body, and giving it the X Elite treatment. There is an odd omission of the 3.5mm audio jack here, but this sexy chassis is too legit to quit.

The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Snapdragon Edition does get a bit of an advantage with an additional USB-C port, but the real point of excitement is going to be seeing exactly what that new chipset does to the longevity of this super thin device. That's because based on Geekbench results, it looks as if the performance potential will be turned down in favor of stamina.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
LaptopGeekbench 6 single coreGeekbench 6 multi-core
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7231811883
M3 MacBook Air308212087

Dell Inspiron 14 Plus

Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 sitting on table

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Finally (and most recently leaked) is Dell’s jump into the Snapdragon pool with the Inspiron 14 Plus. This one is a bit of a surprise, as I expected the launch to be limited to certain hardware manufacturers — with Dell itself having some rather close ties with Intel and AMD.

But based on leaks, it looks like the Inspiron 14 Plus is jumping into this pool too, and it brings the same hardware specs you know and love: a gorgeous 14-inch 2.5k display with 90Hz refresh rate, and that metallic platinum silver finish.

Most interestingly to me, though, is the fact this machine (in its Intel form) can be configured with a dedicated GPU. Could this be the first Snapdragon system with a RTX 40-series graphics card? Guess we’ll find out soon. 

One quick thing to note, though. It looks as if this device is still going through some rough patches, as the multi-core score is actually below 5,000. I don't think that's correct, unless Dell has truly borked the implementation.

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Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.

  • klaus1
    What I don't see clearly: Do the Snapdragon devices have fans?

    The Surface Laptop 6 looks like it might be fanless. But the image isn't entirely clear on that, it could still have a "fan between screen and body" design. For the other devices, we lack a view from a second direction, so it is even less clear.

    Assuming that the devices do have some form of active cooling, they should be compared to Macbook Pros instead, which would render the comparison less impressive.

    Also, I'm still waiting for GPU benchmarks...