Intel’s new Alder Lake-N processors are low-cost, low-power chips designed for inexpensive laptops. And one of the first notebooks announced to feature the chip is the Asus BR1102, an 11.6 inch notebook designed for students.
With a spill-resistant keyboard and rugged, scratch-resistant exterior, it’s made to be thrown in a backpack and toted to and from school every day. And while it’s 6-watt, quad-core processor isn’t going to win any performance awards, it will help keep the cost low and the battery life reasonably long while offering a big speed boost over Intel’s previous-gen “Jasper Lake” chips.
That’s because Alder Lake-N processors are basically 12th-gen Intel Core processors that ship with only Efficient CPU cores (and no Performance cores). But those processor cores are based on Intel’s Gracemont architecture, which provides a big boost over the Tremont cores used for Jasper Lake chips. Graphics performance is also much better in the new chips.
It has a 360 degree hinge that allows you to push the screen back for use in tablet, tent, or stand modes, a rubber bumper around the chassis, and support for WiFi 6 and 4G LTE connectivity. Asus says the notebook has a modular design, allowing on-site repairs or replacements of the keyboard, battery, camera module, mainboard, and other components.
There are two cameras – a front-facing one above the display and a 13MP world-facing camera at the top of the keyboard (which faces outward if you switch to tablet mode). The laptop also comes with a stylus that fits into a slot in the side of the computer when you’re not using it. The pen is battery powered, but a 15 second charge offers up to 45 minutes of battery life.
The Asus BR1102F supports up to 256GB of UFS 2.1 flash storage and/or up to a 1TB PCIe Gen 3 SSD and has ports including:
- 1 x USB 3.2 Type-C
- 1 x USB 3.2 Type-A
- 1 x USB 2.0 Type-C
- 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x Ethernet
- 1 x 3.5mm audio
- 1 x stylus garage
While Asus hasn’t listed detailed specs yet, the product page indicates that at least one model may ship with an Intel Processor N100, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 50 Wh battery.