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No one seems to really care about Intel Project Athena

No one seems to really care about Intel Project Athena yet (Image source: Intel)
No one seems to really care about Intel Project Athena yet (Image source: Intel)
Project Athena was supposed to usher in the next generation of Intel-powered Ultrabooks with Thunderbolt 3, super-long runtimes, and thinner designs. But in reality, Athena is barely on anyone's radar as even OEMs seem to be avoiding the term in their advertisements.

At Computex 2019, Intel made a big deal about its Project Athena initiative. Athena would consist of a set of voluntary guidelines related to laptop performance, battery life, size, and features for OEMs to follow. Should the laptop meet all the specifications, then it would be labeled as "Athena Certified" on retail boxes alongside a special Athena sticker.

The problem, however, is that most OEMs seem to be ignoring the Athena label entirely even if their laptops are technically Athena certified. The Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1, for example, launched last Summer to be one of the first Athena laptops available and yet its official product page makes no mention of Athena anywhere. Other Athena certified laptops like the Lenovo Yoga C940 or HP Spectre x360 13 series aren't explicitly advertising the Intel-developed term either.

Furthermore, Athena barely had a presence at CES 2020 last month as Intel opted to show off bendable concepts instead.

We suspect that OEMs are giving Athena the cold shoulder because the general consumer would be unlikely to research what Athena is all about when shopping for a new laptop. For example, it's easy to understand that a laptop with an Intel 10th gen CPU will be newer than a laptop with an Intel 9th gen or 8th gen CPU. An Athena label, however, would not be as self explanatory and it may potentially cause confusion when compared to a non-Athena laptop from the same manufacturer.

Even so, Project Athena is barely a year old and it may simply need more incubation time before becoming a household name. The term Ultrabook, for example, needed a year or two before really taking off. We'll be keeping a close eye on the development of Project Athena even if most OEMs aren't.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > No one seems to really care about Intel Project Athena
Allen Ngo, 2020-02- 1 (Update: 2020-02- 2)