The first laptop with a 10th-gen Intel “Ice Lake” processor went on sale last week. But we could see more computers with 10th-gen chips soon… they just won’t all be Ice Lake chips.
A few detailed about Intel’s upcoming “Comet Lake” processors have been leaking in recent months. While Intel has yet to officially introduce the new chips, it looks like PC makers are already getting ready to launch products powered by them.
The upcoming Asus ZenBook 15 UX534FA, for example, appears to be a 15/6 inch laptop with an Intel Core i7-10510U Comet Lake processor.
That info comes from the Asus France website, which is showing a 1,299 Euro price for this 3.6 pound notebook with a 71 Wh battery, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of PCIe NVMe solid state storage.
The Core i7-10150U processor is a quad-core chip with a top speed of 4.9 GHz, which should help it compare favorably to the 8th-gen Core i7-8565U processor that tops out at 4.6 GHz.
But unlike Intel’s 10nm Ice Lake processors, the new Comet Lake chip is still manufactured with a 14nm process, which means it won’t benefit from any efficiency improvements that come with the move to a smaller node.
The biggest performance improvement associated with Ice Lake though, is the move to Intel Gen11 graphics, which Intel says should bring up to twice the performance for 1080p gaming and for HEVC video encoding, among other things. It looks like Comet Lake may not have that either.
According to the Asus website, the ZenBook 15 UX534FA features Intel UHD 620 graphics, which is the same integrated GPU technology used in the company’s 8th-gen “Kaby Lake Refresh” and “Whiskey Lake” processors, rather than the Gen11 Intel UHD or Iris Plus graphics associated with Ice Lake.
So why are some PC makers opting for Comet Lake when Ice Lake is available? I haven’t seen anybody go on the record about that yet — which makes sense, since Intel hasn’t officially introduced Comet Lake yet and we’re just seeing leaks at this point. But if I had to guess, I’d say that Ice Lake may only be available in limited quantities at launch, while Intel makes the transition from 14nm to 10nm in its chip manufacturing facilities.
Comet Lake, meanwhile, can probably be produced in much the same way that Intel has been producing chips for the past few years, which would allow the company to fill the demand for new “10th-gen chips” when Ice Lake processors aren’t available in sufficient quantities yet.
Just don’t expect these particular 10th-gen chips to be all that different from 7th and 8th-gen processors. As for 9th-gen, Intel never even launched any 15-watt or lower chips as part of that product family.
I wonder if any other manufacturer has the courage to bring back 16:10 screens other than Dell in its new 2-in-1 XPS.
When this is the most exciting development for notebooks, things are doomed. Chip updates? Oh goodie. What a wonderful bevy of new features to be unlocked! Not. I get that it’s news (nothingburger at that) and maybe this is the best Intel can hope for. Nobody is sitting around with the laptop thinking they need just a bit more speed or performance. Gamers aren’t what we’re talking about. These updated chips are so unnecessary it seems like an excuse to bump up prices and nothing more.
I don’t know if Comet Lake deals with Spectre and Meltdown at the hardware level, but if so, that would be an advantage. But either way I’d probably opt for Ice Lake with its smaller more efficient 10nm process, particularly in a laptop.
Well, maybe if we had the likes of Nvidia start offering a “MaxQ” ultrabook things could be different. Imagine if we had a Keyboard-Tablet that was like the Surface Book, where it offered a converting touchscreen, all the mainstream ports, a great battery life and thermals. It could be a boon for people on-the-go, and when they get home, they slide the Tablet into their TV Dock.
In this TV Dock, it fast charges the tablet while providing Active Cooling and a HDMI/dPort out. The unit would be boosted by a dedicatedGPU (eg GTX 1650 Ti RTX 2080 Ti). And could act as a hub to also store a SSD/HDD to store your movies or games. Especially cool if such an advancement was made open for other OEMs, so the whole concept became an affordable mainstream product.
Therefore, it would be an exciting development for laptops to replace consoles and desktops… and thus an area where more powerful CPU’s would be a necessity rather than just a nicety.
To the lovely Graham, This article is about processors. Intels only goal is to improve its processors. Processors alone will be what makes sure your laptop isn’t obsolete in 5-10 years. Features are something laptop specific so you may want to curb your opinion towards a brand like Dell or HP.
Also fun fact, just as an example, the new Dell 13in 2-in-1 with the Intel gen 8 processor had a starting price of $999 and the new Dell 13in 2-in1 with the 10th gen intel processor had a starting price of $999 (it’s already dropped $20 in a week to $979)
Personally, I’ve waited months to order my new Dell XPS 13 2in1 with the new 10th gen Intel processor. Although the laptop itself is, as a whole, the most powerful lightest laptop dell has ever made and is littered with new features, the processor alone prompted my purchase. I don’t play games, just surf the web and study. I won’t even use it for Netflix! My new 10th gen processor practically doubled my battery life and doubled my screens picture quality. It’s speed will also hold up for years to come in the competitive laptop market.
So ya new processors all the way baby 🙂
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