Just when it feels like the deluge of new laptops with Intel’s 10th-gen processors and Nvidia’s RTX Super graphics cards have finally trickled to a stop, Intel goes ahead and announces the launch of its 11th-gen Tiger Lake processor. You know, the one that’s actually a system-on-chip (SoC) with integrated RAM and Intel’s latest integrated Iris Xe Graphics? The one that Intel claims will make ultra-thin and light laptops more powerful across the board? Yeah, that Intel processor.
Along with Intel’s recent announcement, several laptop manufacturers spilled the beans on their next models, which will naturally have Tiger Lake included in the list of specifications. In all, more than 150 laptop designs will incorporate Intel’s 11th-gen processor with Iris Xe Graphics. 20 to start will display the Intel Evo badge, which signifies those models have been verified to have features specific to Project Athena standards—long battery life, quick charging, and few other goodies.
As for AMD, it’s probably done rolling out new CPUs for laptops this year (it tends to announce its laptop CPUs around CES), and while its next-gen GPU architecture is expected to be announced by the end of the year that tech usually takes a few months to trickle down to laptops. Its also still busy finally shipping the new laptop GPUs it did announce this year. That all means the biggest advances of the year for laptops are now behind us and it’s a little safer to pick one.
Yet the laptops below aren’t the only laptops coming. Apple has confirmed at least one ARM-based computer is coming this year and it’s rumored to be a laptop, there are increasing rumors of a new Pixelbook from Google, and Microsoft usually has a Surface event in the fall full of new devices.
The laptops below are all confirmed for the fall, and thanks to the timing of Nvidia and Intel’s news this week, were all announced over the last week. Now you don’t have to go on a scavenger hunt for that awesome looking laptop you can’t remember the name of. (We get it. They all kind of blur together these days.)
Acer’s new Swift 5 will be one of the first Project Athena-certified laptops. It starts at $1,000 and comes with your choice of an 11th-gen Core i5 or Core i7, along with 16 GB of RAM and Wi-Fi 6. It’s also outfitted with a 14-inch full HD display, 340 nits max brightness, up to 17 hours of battery life, along with one Thunderbolt 4, two Type-A USB 3, and one HDMI port, plus a headphone jack.
Acer is also launching new versions of the smaller Swift 3, which are undergoing Intel’s Evo verification process. While it has a slightly larger screen than the Swift 5 and has 400 nits max brightness, it starts at $700. The planned launch for the new Swifts is sometime in November.
Asus is refreshing a few of its productivity ZenBooks with Intel’s newest CPU, except the new ZenBook Pro 15, which is getting a 10th-gen. But ZenBook Pro 15 might be the most impressive of the bunch. All of Asus’ new Zenbooks come with Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt ports, and OLED displays, but the ZenBook Pro 15 comes with 16 GB of RAM, 4 TB of PCIe storage, and an Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti—all with a Core i7. If that storage speed isn’t enough, you can opt for something with 32 GB of Intel Optane Memory H10. There’s also a touchpad that doubles as a tiny screen and a decent variety of ports.
The ZenBook Flip S will have an 11th-gen Intel CPU, but no discrete GPU. Not a huge issue though, considering it’s a 2-in-1 (the display flips over to become a tablet) with full stylus support, and it’s super-duper lightweight and slim—just 2.6 pounds and 0.54 inches thick. It comes configured with 8 GB or 16GB of RAM, a range of HDD and SSD storage options, and you can choose from a 4K OLED or IPS LCD display.
If you don’t like the flipping action but like the Flip S, there is a regular clamshell version, the ZenBook S, but there is no OLED display option. Asus is also has a new 14 inch system, the ExpertBook B9. While it also has an 11th-gen CPU, it features the less-powerful Nvidia MX450 GPU instead of the GTX 1650 Ti.
No pricing yet on any of these productive (and light gaming) machines, but they’re dude out sometime between October and early November.
HP’s rolling out a new line of slimmer workstation ZBooks, the ZBook Power G7, the ZBook Fury 15 G7 and the ZBook Fury 17 G7. (You could also call them desktop replacements.) HP says the ZBook Fury 15 is now 12% smaller than the previous generation and the ZBook Fury 17 is 29% smaller. That’s sort of a big deal, considering the Fury 17 G7 sports up to a Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000.
The ZBook Power G7 has a chassis that is now 19% smaller, 11% thinner, and nearly 10% lighter than previous generation, says HP, and comes with up to a Nvidia Quadro T2000 graphics and Intel Xeon or Core i9 processors.
No word on price yet, but HP plans to launch the ZBook Fury line on Sept. 14, with the Power G7 following on Oct. 5.
Also coming to the Intel 11th-gen family is Lenovo’s new IdeaPad Slim 9i (aka Yoga Slim 9i if you’re not in North America), which is Evo-certified with Iris Xe Graphics. Lenovo makes some fantastic 2-in-1's, and the Slim 9i appears to be no exception. This Slim 9i is in addition to other new 14 and 15-inch Yoga 9i models that are on their way as well—with the option of a leather-covered lid.
Specs-wise, you can get up to 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB of PCIe SSD storage (2 TB for the 15-inch system), and 4K touchscreens. The 15-inch model will include an optional Nvidia 1650 Ti GPU—a rare treat for 2-in-1's!
The leather-lid models also come with a new glass palm rest that spans the entire width of the base, plus an integrated touchpad that’s about 50% larger than previous models. The touchpad also has haptic feedback, since there is no physical click when you press it, so you’ll still know if what you’re clicking on is being registered by the computer. (Though maybe wait until we review it before buying it—just in case.)
The 15-inch Yoga 9i starts at $1,800 and the 14-inch at $1,400. (Or $100 less than the 15-inch if you get the leather lid.) Both will go on sale in October. The Slim 9i starts at $1,600 and will go on sale in November.
Elsewhere in the gaming space, Lenovo is releasing a slimmed-down version of its Legion 7i, with a redesigned thermal system to-boot. (No 11th-gen CPU. Sorry.) No price is available yet, but it will release in time for the holidays.
Spotted briefly during Intel’s event was a refreshed version of Dell’s XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1. At this time, Dell has only confirmed that both those laptops will have Intel’s 11th-gen CPU with Iris Xe Graphics and will be Evo-certified. More information about the systems will be available at a later date.
In Dell’s gaming-space, the company confirmed the impending arrival of two new Alienware laptops: the Area-51m R2 and m17 R3, both with a 360Hz display. No 11th-gen CPUs here though. More information about price and release date will be available later this month.
Last and certainly not least, is MSI’s new line of business-focused laptops, the Summit Series. Designed for working professionals who also like to game every now and then, the MSI has created the Summit E Series and the Summit B Series, both of which feature the same general design, with a few differences in ports, size and thickness. And, of course, they all will come with Intel’s 11th-gen processor and and integrated Intel Xe graphics.
The B series is a little more portable than the E Series, with the option of either a 14 or 15-inch full HD LCD display. The E series is a little more powerful than the B series since it comes configured with a GTX 1650 Ti, and the E series comes with one additional design: a 2-in-1 with a 360-degree rotating display.
MSI is also coming out with the new the new Prestige 14 Evo, which is, as you probably guessed, Evo-certified. And for all you gamers who love MSI’s Stealth series, a new Stealth 15M is coming too. It’ll feature a 15.6-inch 144Hz display, an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 64 GB of RAM and 2 TB of SSD storage, and either a GTX 1660Ti or RTX 2060 GPU. The Stealth 15M goes on sale in October, starting at $1,550.
Unfortunately, MSI has not said anything about a release date for the other laptops nor anything about pricing, but expect something after we officially enter the Fall season.