Intel just announced its new generation of chips, code-named Meteor Lake. But it’s the Core Ultra name that you’ll see plastered all over product pages, as it’s the new brand that Intel is using. Either way, it feels like a little CES 2024 preview, with many laptop manufacturers announcing updates and refreshes to laptops that are coming soon.
While there’s not much here in the way of flashy new designs or high-powered machines that can flaunt what Meteor Lake can really do, there’s a good variety to show some of the diversity of the new designs that use the chips.
I got to test the new Acer Swift Go 14 out myself ahead of launch, and even though this isn’t the flashiest laptop on this list, there’s one very important reason it makes the cut. The price. There’s a configuration that sells for $850 and comes with an OLED 2880 x 1800 screen, which is pretty killer.
I wish it had a smoother trackpad and a less plastic-feeling chassis, but the screen and updated Arc graphics of Intel’s new Core Ultra chips make it one to check out for the price.
Various configurations of the Acer Swift Go 14 are available now for purchase, starting at $850.
Ah, the old faithful. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon, now in its 12th generation, has been among the first to adopt the new Core Ultra chips, and that’s no surprise. Lenovo has kept this premium business laptop consistently up to date every year since its launch, and while the design hasn’t changed much, small tweaks and improvements are constantly being made.
Aside from using one of the new Core Ultra chips, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen12 has two exciting new features that are absent on last year’s model: an upgrade to a 120Hz OLED panel as a display option and new tactile markings across the keyboard to help with accessibility.
Lenovo also has brought those same updates to the ThinkPad X1 2-in-1 Gen9, though it will not be available until March 2024. The X1 Carbon, meanwhile, will have limited configurations available this month starting at just under $3,000.
Samsung has brought Meteor Lake to its entire Galaxy Book 4 series, including the Galaxy Book 4 Pro and Galaxy Book 4 Ultra, the more powerful options in the lineup. The Galaxy Book 4 Ultra is the performer of the group, and it will launch with up to a Core Ultra 9 and an RTX 4070. Clearly, Samsung wants the Galaxy Book 4 Ultra to compete with the likes of the more powerful MacBook Pros, such as the M3 Max.
While Samsung says the series will launch first in Korea this January, and then roll out to other markets afterward.
The Asus Zenbook 14 was already one of the best laptops you could buy. It’s been the best laptop you can get for under $1,000 for the majority of 2023, and is sometimes available for as low as $700. This new Core Ultra model is every bit as good, adding some of the benefits that come with Meteor Lake, such as the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) and the vastly improved integrated graphics. It’s still got the fantastic OLED screen, too.
Asus also brings a ton of new laptops to CES every year, so we’re expecting to see more soon.
Now in its 9th generation, the IdeaPad Pro 5i is an entry-level creator laptop, and has some healthy specs to back that up. It has the same 120Hz OLED as the ThinkPad X1 Carbon this time around, and now has a bigger, 84-watt hour battery.
Interestingly, the IdeaPad Pro 5i Gen 9 is one of the laptops that will eventually support up to the Core Ultra 9 chips, the most powerful in Intel’s new lineup. In addition, both the 14-inch and 16-inch sizes can be configured with up to an RTX 4050 GPU.
The IdeaPad Pro 5i 16-inch is available starting now, with an expected starting price of $1,150.
This is one of the only 13-inch laptops from the big brands that were announced in support of Intel’s new chips. That alone makes it a standout, along with it being one of the few compact, 13-inch laptops to bring an OLED 2.8K resolution screen to the table. I still wish the design language was toned down and modernized a bit, but it’s a solid piece of kit from a brand that isn’t known as much outside of the PC gaming world.
MSI also has a 16-inch model that comes with discrete RTX graphics, up to an RTX 4070, and a 3.2K OLED screen. Interestingly, the Prestige 16 will also eventually come with up to the Core Ultra 9 185H.
The Prestige 13 starts at $1,049, while the 16-inch model starts at $1,399.
The Predator Triton Neo 16 is the only gaming laptop on this list, which is a bit odd. Not many gaming laptops have announced support for the Core Ultra Meteor Lake chips yet, and if the leaks are to be believed, some are opting for Intel’s 14th-gen Raptor Lake Refresh. We already know Meteor Lake won’t be coming out for socketed desktop chips in 2024, and it looks like some of the more powerful gaming laptops will also be better suited for Raptor Lake Refresh too.
The Triton Neo 16, however, isn’t one of them. This new model, not to be confused with the Predator Helios Neo 16, is a revamped version of the company’s Triton 500 SE, now with a 3200 x 2000 resolution display with a 165Hz refresh rate. The OLED option from last year, however, seems to be gone.
Although the laptop will eventually come with an option for the Core Ultra 9 185H, there will also be configurations available with a Core Ultra 7 15H or Core Ultra 5 125H. That’s a bit surprising since the base power of those two chips is just 28 watts. Meanwhile, they come with up to an RTX 4070 on the GPU side of things.
Although it’s being announced today, the Triton Neo 16 won’t be available to buy until March 2024, and will start at $1,500.