Intel is best known for making chips. But the company has also been selling its own compact desktop computers under the NUC brand for much of the past decade.
Now Intel is also making NUC laptops. But you won’t buy it from Intel. Instead, the Intel NUC M15 Laptop Kit is a notebook aimed at the white label or “whitebook” market.
In other words, companies that want to slap brand on an Intel EVO certified notebook and sell it to customers can source one directly from Intel. The company says the first laptops based on the platform should be available in January, 2021.
The move to laptops isn’t completely out of left field. NUC stands for “next unit of computing,” a name which isn’t explicitly tied to tiny desktop PCs. And the company has collaborated with PC makers to help engineer and design laptops in the past.
But the new NUC M15 Laptop Kit (also known by the code name “Bishop County,” is the closest Intel has come to selling its own laptop.
The notebook features a 15.6 inch display and a 73 Wh battery, but measures just 0.59 inches thick and weighs about 3.75 pounds, making it fairly compact for a laptop with those features.
Under the hood it’s powered by an 11th-gen Intel Core “Tiger Lake” processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics and support for up to a 28 watt TDP. Other features include WiFi 6, fast charging, and Thunderbolt 4.
Intel says it will offer the backend support to allow PC vendors to offer a 2-year warranty.
There’s no word on what brand names this laptop will wear when it hits the streets or how much it will cost.
Update: OK, now there’s some word. German PC company Schenker will sell a version called the Schenker Vision 15 with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor and 16GB of RAM for €1,499 ($1779).
This is really interesting news. I’m definitely interested.
This must be in response to the trends that Apple and Microsoft are showing with their move to ARM chips (and potentially other manufacturers too, as soon as some off-the-shelf components become available, I would guess).
Intel probably wants to ensure the future of x86 laptops maintains a product line that meets a high level of consumer expectations. If Apple and Microsoft both leave x86 completely, there isn’t much left in the way of high quality laptops that focus on user experience.
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