You may see a new badge affixed to the inside of a Core Ultra (Meteor Lake) laptop this holiday season or next year: The new “Evo Edition,” which will signify that the laptop has been tested to ensure specific battery life, noise levels, and even AI.
Set that aside for a second, though. As a consumer, you should know that there are at least four key things Intel essentially guarantees inside of an Evo-branded laptop. Buy one, and you’ll receive four things: more than 10 hours of battery life (as tested with a 1080p screen); an “instant-on” requirement that targets 1.5 seconds to resume from a sleep state; fast charging that amounts to four hours of battery life in 30 minutes of charging time; and that the device has been tested to be cool and quiet during operation.
Intel does not have any specific goals for how quiet Evo laptops must be, or how cool the surface temperature is, executives said. But PC makers are apparently being aggressive in hitting their own targets.
“All the early Meteor Lake designs are below 19dB,” said David Feng, vice president of the Client Computing Group, in a prerecorded video provided to reporters in advance of the Core Ultra launch. “To put that into perspective, 19dB is a super-quiet room. It’s quieter than even people whispering to each other. And some designs are even 17dB.”
What’s inside an Evo Edition laptop?
Intel Evo laptops do mandate at least 8GB of dual-channel memory and a 256GB PCI Express SSD, though most models come with even more beefed-up specs. They don’t require Intel’s new Arc graphics or any particular third-party graphics hardware, as they’re optional. The latest Evo Edition laptops do mandate an NPU (or neural processing unit), however, which only ship with Intel’s Core Ultra chips. You’ll also see features you may have begun to take for granted, too: Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6E, and optional 5G capabilities. Remember, the Core Ultra / Meteor Lake platform does not ship with Thunderbolt 5, and Wi-Fi 7 is only available as a discrete component.
Evo laptops are also tested against Intel Unison — which has been beefed up with extended control and sharing features. Webcams are also being tested against the VCX camera specification, which will provide numerical scores for evaluating the webcam’s quality.
Intel is also stating that laptops with the Evo Edition badge will meet or exceed EPEAT Silver levels of sustainability, meaning that they meet all of the basic requirements of the government’s EPEAT standard, and half of the optional requirements.
It’s the peripherals market, though, that’s the new frontier for Evo. Intel named 23 companies — including several existing PC partners, such as Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung — that will be tasked with building out an Intel Evo accessory ecosystem. Those will include Thunderbolt docks, monitors, storage, Bluetooth headsets, mice, wireless access points, and even hearing aids. Since beginning the project two years ago, Intel has added a sixth new brand, plus 21 new devices, for a total of 57 devices, Feng said.
“Evo really wants to set the direction for ecosystem partners,” Feng said. Intel wants to figure out what the future experience will be, and then work with partners to make that a reality.
“The whole idea is when people have a seamless, greater user experience on their Evo PCs, that experience will be extended until they’re engineered for Evo peripherals as well,” Feng added.