Best Laptops Winter 2017: Speed Spikes On Intel 8th Gen Quad Core – Forbes

HP Spectre 13: HP manages to squeeze a quad-core 8th Gen processor into a 0.4-inCredit: Hewlett-Packard

HP Spectre 13: HP says it will squeeze a quad-core 8th Gen processor into a 0.4-inch thick chassis.

If you’ve been waiting to upgrade your laptop, now’s (really) the time to make the move. Mainstream 13-inch-class laptops running Intel’s 8th Generation Core processors will be fast — a lot faster than anything before.

Typically, Intel mobile quad-core processors have been 45 watts and restricted to larger, high-performance laptops for gamers and professionals. For example, Dell’s XPS 15 has always come with quad core configurations and Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro has been offered exclusively with Intel quad-core. After all, a 45-watt processor is not a good fit for smaller laptops due to heat and the hit to battery life.

That’s all about to change with the 15-watt quad-core 8th Gen, according to MobileTechReview’s Lisa Gade, who provides a short but instructive overview of why 8th Gen mobile is special (see video at bottom). The processor is now finding its way into even the thinnest of the thin 13-inch laptops and will undoubtedly populate many 13- and 14-inch class laptops over the coming months and into next year. To date, almost across the board, 13-inch class laptops have used Intel dual-core.

Dell XPS 13. The first XPS 13 with a quad-core processor.Credit: Dell

Dell XPS 13. The first XPS 13 with a quad-core processor.

So, what’s the upshot on performance? Here’s an excerpt from Lisa Gade’s video:

I used Handbrake [which] only uses the CPU. I took a 4K H.264 video that was 1GB so we’re talking a pretty big file size…converted it 1080p H.265…and you can see in fact a 38% improvement in speed from the 7th Generation Core i5 to the 8th Generation Core i5.

So, what is the gist of this? This is finally a time when you want to upgrade your laptop. If you’ve been watching these last three years and [thinking] ‘not much has changed here,’ finally something has changed if you go for one of these quad-core 15-watt CPUs. It’s a good time to buy a laptop this fall.

–Lisa Gade, editor-in-chief, MobileTechReview

Hewlett-Packard: HP is adding the quad-core 8th Gen to laptops including the Spectre 13 x360, Spectre 13, Spectre 15 x360, Envy 17, Envy 15 x360, and Envy 13, an HP spokesperson told me.

“With the 8th Gen Intel Core processor it delivers up to 40% performance improvement gen-on-gen,” the spokesperson told me, adding that “we’ve even been able to exceed some of [Intel’s] claims in our lab tests.”

13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar: Quad-core next year?Credit: Apple

13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar: Quad-core next year?

Dell: Dell is divvying up its popular — and very thin — XPS 13 lineup between the 7th Gen and 8th Gen Core processors. At the higher end of the lineup, starting at around $1,150, you can get the XPS 13 with a quad-core 8th Gen Core i7-8550U. To date, the XPS 13 lineup has only used dual-core.

The XPS 13 now offers up to 44% more performance with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processors and Dynamic Power Mode…with four cores versus two, experiencing exceptional performance while multi-tasking and running multiple applications is possible.

—Dell spokesperson

Lenovo: the new Yoga 920 3-pound 13.9-inch laptop with a 4K LCD comes with an 8th Gen quad-core Core i7. “The new Lenovo Yoga 920 [is]…aimed at creative professionals, who need high performance, 360 [degree] watchband hinge, touchscreen, reduced weight and a long battery life,” says Anandtech.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook: Lisa Gade has done a review of the new Xiaomi Mi. “You’ve got quite a strong performer here. Especially for something in the ultrabook size and class,” she says.

MacBook and Microsoft Surface coming? Supposedly an Intel 8th Gen Core promo has an image of a black Microsoft Surface Book. And Apple enthusiast sites are expecting a future 13-inch MacBook Pro to go quad-core with Intel 8th Gen at some point. Both predictions make sense: future Surface Pros and Surface Books will undoubtedly go 8th Gen quad core and Apple will probably do the same next year.


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