Qualcomm Snapdragon PC: Compatible Targus Accessories
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Qualcomm Snapdragon PC Peripherals

July 08, 19 - Posted in: Tech Talk by Kevin Quinn, Thee DocKtor
Qualcomm Snapdragon PC Peripherals

Carry Just One Device

The DocKtor is often asked when will we be carrying just one device?  The new Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Windows PCs are a leap closer.

Today, many of us carry a smartphone for making calls, of course, but also texting, reading email, some surfing of the web, and using those every more important (social media) application.  When we can, we use a PC for many of these same purposes, and much of our vocational work is completed on a Windows PC. Yes, I know, MacBooks, Chromebooks, Android Tablets, etc. are being utilized more and more, but the industry still boots Windows for the bulk of what is done on computers. 

PCs often take a frustrating long time to connect, boot, startup, or return from sleep.  In contrast, phones are pretty much always on and connected.  Also, the battery life of most PCs is not as good as most phones.  This is all slowly changing but for those interested in making a leap toward the future of one device, with a (Windows) PC-like experience and phone-like instant on, always connected, and longer battery life, consider checking out the new Qualcomm Snapdragon-based PC.

The DocKtor was asked to check the compatibility of Snapdragon PC with various Targus peripheral accessories.  I am pleased to say that everything worked as expected.  Docks, adaptors, hubs, mice, and keyboards all functioned pretty much as they do with Intel and AMD-based Windows PC, and enumerated just as fast.  I even had pretty good luck with products that compete with Targus, but proud to state, the Targus products listed below worked every time.  This was not so with the competitors.

Snapdragon PC Tested

The following Windows PCs are designed with the Snapdragon shown, not just for connectivity, but for running Windows and applications.  And yes, these are the same processor that you may find in your phone:

  1. HP Envy X2 Detachable with Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 835
  2. Samsung Galaxy Book 2 with Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 850
  3. Lenovo Yoga C630 with Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 850

Note, pay attention to the Type-C port functionality, sometimes indicated, but often not.  Some Type-C ports are USB only, some will take power, some are Alt. Mode, but none on the above PCs are utilizing Thunderbolt.  Thunderbolt performance takes power, Thee DocKtor doesn’t expect to see Intel Thunderbolt ports on Qualcomm Snapdragon PC anytime soon (or Chromebooks or Android tablets for that matter, and not too many AMD PC). 

I also noted that some of the devices didn’t seem to toggle the CC lines for proper USB Type-C operation for devices already pluggedin.  This required hot-plugging on some of these PC ports for proper operation.  To be fair, Thee DocKtor has also noticed this on some Intel-based PCs and hopes the host manufacturers will modify their USB Host Controllers to overcome this nit.  Similarly, Windows Billboarding continues to be, well, inconsistent and confusing to end users. 

For more about USB Type-C, please see our previous blog post

Compatible Targus Device Peripherals 

All Targus Universal Docking Stations models DOCK1XX and DOCK5XX worked as specified.  Since they also support Universal Power, the DOCK180, DOCK190, DOCK177+ACA46/ACA47, and DOCK570 established USB Type-C PD contract and can be used to power and charge, and dock with any of the Snapdragon PC Type-C ports.  While it worked and even supplied power, the DOCK570 should be considered overkill for many applications as these PCs aren’t practical for driving four 4K monitors, but again, it worked.  The DOCK1XX that do not supply power also worked. The ones with USB Type-A connectors required a converter to USB Type-C.  Since the PCs do not require more than about 60W, the DOCK180 is recommended in dual external display monitor applications.

Alternate Mode Docking and Universal Power

All Targus USB Type-C Multi-Function DisplayPort Alternate Mode (aka USB-C) Docking Station models DOCK4XX also functioned as expected.  The DOCK410 and DOCK430 established a USB Type-C PD contract and can be used to power and charge as well as a dock with any of the Snapdragon PC Type-C ports that contract to take power.  The DOCK412 is USB Type-C Power Pass-Through also worked when connected with the OEM or Targus branded Type-C power supplies. 

None of the PCs tested supported MST so the DOCK410 and DOCK430 rendered the same display on both monitors connected, therefore, the DOCK412 will be adequate in many applications, especially while traveling and needing an external monitor and/or GbE.  Note, the Universal Docking Stations do not rely on MST for multi-monitor applications.  These, i.e. the DOCK180, are recommended for multi-monitor applications with the Snapdragon PC.

Other Targus Type-C Devices

Thee DocKtor also plugged in the following Targus Type-C devices upstream facing to the PC:

  • ACH928 USB Combo Hub with Power Pass-Through
  • ACA929 USB-C DP Alt. Mode 3-in-1 Multiport Video Adapter
  • ACA932 USB-C to DisplayPort 4K Adapter
  • ACA933 USB-C Alt. Mode to HDMI Adapter
  • ACA934 USB -C to VGA Adapter
  • ACA937 USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
  • APA104 65W USB-C/USB-A Charger

What’s Next

Thee DocKtor was very pleased with the performance of the Qualcomm Snapdragon PC.
I would recommend these PCs for many use cases.  The only issue of concern is third-party security applications support, this is being addressed by Microsoft. Also, Thee DocKtor is working with Qualcomm and some of the third parties to verify ports and compatibility.  Updates to this post will be added as more information is announced. 
Qualcomm has announced a Snapdragon designed just for the PC, the 8cx. Thee DocKtor will update this post as these 8cx-based hosts come to market in PCs, but suffice to say, from what he has seen with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 850, full compatibility with Targus devices is expected to continue with the Snapdragon 8cx.
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