Intel releases a whole range of compact NUC desktop PCs every year. They even offer larger more “extreme” NUCs aimed at gamers. Laptops from Intel are much more rare… and a gaming laptop is almost unheard of.

That’s exactly what the new NUC X15 “King County” Laptop Kit is, however. Think NUC 11 Extreme, but packed into in a laptop.

Intel is offering at least three models. Higher-end NUC X15 configurations are powered by the octa-core Core i7-11800H, with clock speeds starting at 1.9GHz and topping out at 4.9Ghz when Turbo Boost is active.

The base model ships with a hexa-core Core i5-11400H clocked at 2.2Ghz that can hit 4.5Ghz. These are not like the power-sipping chips that Intel tapped for its Classmate or Canoe laptops back in the day. These are 45W beasts built for serious work and gaming.

To help should the load Intel has equipped the NUC X15 with NVIDIA GPUs. Depending on the model, it’s either the RTX 3060 or RTX 3070. The 15-inch display boasts a 240Hz refresh at 1080p or you can choose to run at QHD and still enjoy 144Hz refreshes.

Want to game on a bigger screen? You’ll have plenty of options: HDMI, DisplayPort and Lightning 4 ports are all standard.

The NUC X15 has two DDR4 SODIMM slots and supports up to 64GB per slot. There’s also room for two M.2 SSDs. Intel appears to be leaving RAM and storage configurations up to its partners.

On the connectivity side the NUC X15 features Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 radios. I couldn’t find mention of wired networking capabilities, but a 2.5g Ethernet port seems like a safe bet on a machine like this.

Since gaming hardware and lighting effects generally go hand-in-hand, Intel has tricked out the NUC X15 with a multi-color illuminated keyboard and “ground effect” LEDs.

The NUC X15 won’t be offered exclusively to Intel partners. In the U.S. you’ll be able to buy one as a barebones and add your own RAM, SSD and operating system. No word yet on how much you’ll pay or when you’ll be able to get your hands on one.

via Winfuture (Translate link)

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Lee Mathews

Computer tech, blogger, husband, father, and avid MSI U100 user.

11 replies on “Intel NUC X15 laptop packs an NVIDIA GPU and a 240Hz display”

  1. Non gaming laptops feel stoic and boring, like fossils. Gaming laptops have great aesthetics, great key travel, but huge power adapters, get very heated and noisy fans. I’d like to see non-gaming laptops cfeate a segment where they have gaming laptop aesthetics, but without the huge power adapters, extra graphics and noisy fans.

    1. Don’t forget about lousy battery life. I absolutely love my gaming laptop, but any more than 2 hours on battery is pushing it. The cost of having both great performance and a great display.

    2. Gaming laptops have great aesthetics

      No they don’t. They have ugly aesthetics only 9 year olds would like.

  2. So is the NUC just Intel’s general PC brand now? The NUC desktops have been growing in size range for some time and now there’s a notebook.

    What’s next? The Intel NUC gaming handheld? I’d be interested.

  3. It would be really cool if the GPU was optional, and I could order it without a GPU.

    The reason being that if someone wants to buy a laptop with the goal of connecting an external GPU (via Thunderbolt), there are zero options on the market right now for a laptop with no gpu, BUT does have a high-refresh screen, or other factors that contribute to gaming performance (such as RAM speed).

    I really don’t know what people are doing with external GPUs these days. Are they really plugging 3080s into their laptops with 60hz screens?

    1. I would imagine the norm is probably more like leaving the EGPU on a desk connected to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, at all times. Games are then played on the external monitor. The majority of people who would do this would be students.
      However, since the eternal graphics card shortage began, I doubt that’s an affordable thing to do.

    2. Iirc there was a performance penalty to sending the image back over thunderbolt from an egpu to a laptop’s internal display so as Some Guy says you’d be better off using the video outputs on the egpu with an external monitor.

      1. Yeah that makes sense, I assumed there was probably some interest in using your laptop’s own screen, but I suppose that’s probably a minority of users. EGPUs are fairly immobile, so may as well set up a monitor too.

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