Intel brings Gigabit WiFi, impressive battery life with new 8th Gen Core laptop chips

Qualcomm may be seeking to usurp Intel's throne in the laptop market, but big blue isn't going down without a fight. Intel today debuted its latest 8th Gen Core processors built for thin and light laptops and 2-in-1s, and it's promising plenty of improvements in performance, battery life, and integrated Gigabit Wifi speeds.

The new chips are Intel's Core U-series (i7-8565U, i5-8265U, i3-8145U) and Core Y-series (i7-8500, i5-8200Y, m3-8100Y), both aimed at powering laptops and 2-in-1s with a lower thermal envelope than their desktop counterparts. The highlight here is that both series now come with integrated Gigabit Wifi, which is a first for Intel's mobile chips. That means that, in the coming months, we should start seeing incredibly thin laptops that can attain blazing speeds over WiFi.

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Beyond the WiFi gains, Intel is also promising double-digit performance gains for the U-series when compared to the prior generation. Impressively, the company claims laptops based on the U-series will also be able to achieve up to 16 hours of use on a single charge. "Power-optimized systems," Intel says, will last even longer at around 19 hours. This rivals some of what we've seen coming out of the Windows 10 on ARM world.

Getting down to raw performance, the U-series features a 15-watt envelope across the board, while the Y-series comes in with a 5-watt envelope. At the top end, the i7 and i5 U-series chips feature a total of four cores and eight threads, with the rest of the lineup packing two cores and four threads. Interestingly, Intel's top-end i7-8565U chip can hit peak speeds of 4.6GHz, though it won't be able to sustain that level of performance for long.

According to Intel, we should start seeing laptops and 2-in-1s powered by these new chips this fall.