Portable PCs with better performance and battery life will arrive later this year.

After four years, Intel finally has a new processor design.

And it’s something the company doesn’t have to be ashamed of. Ice Lake — officially Intel’s 10th-generation Core processor — clocks in at roughly 18% faster than its predecessor, Intel said. The processor’s graphics speed is 50% to 80% faster, and dedicated circuitry will boost AI software and double video-handling speeds.

The new processor also has built-in Thunderbolt support for faster connections to external devices, and a companion chip brings improved Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking. It’s also got better gaming performance, with Intel demoing an Ice Lake laptop playing Destiny 2 at its Computex keynote.

The new chip kickstarts Intel’s manufacturing process, which stalled with the previous Sky Lake design. The earlier chip was supposed to be on the market for two years, but Intel instead extended its life with modest tweaks while working through its manufacturing problems.

Ice Lake will likely usher in thinner, faster and more capable laptops. Software should also improve to take advantage of the more powerful brains that can run it. Combined, we might actually have a reason to put our phones down and upgrade our PCs.

“Is there enough here to catalyze customers into saying, ‘Hey, I want to look at this new laptop?”‘ said David Kanter, an analyst at Real World Tech. “The answer is yes.”


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