It's a pretty big deal that Intel is bringing its six-core 8th-Gen processors to laptops, and while there will be performance differences compared to the desktop counterparts, it's a step forward for sure.
We've already got quad-core i5 processors being rolled out for laptops, but the six-core chips are for the i7 lineup and, unexpectedly, the range-topping Core i9. Intel's high-end, enthusiast processor is coming to laptops, albeit in a more restricted form. You won't be getting a 10-core laptop anytime soon, but six-cores is still pretty good.
The laptop makers had plenty of new laptops to announce, taking advantage of the new hardware, and it's not just gaming laptops. There's plenty coming our way, and these are the ones I'm most excited for right now.
ASUS ZenBook Pro 15
I'm a big fan of the current ASUS ZenBook Pro, mainly because it's a professional-grade laptop that still has enough horsepower to do a bit of gaming at the end of the day. ASUS's Republic of Gamers brand is where the most six-core action will be seen, but I'm perhaps more excited for the refresh to the ZenBook Pro.
That's because it's getting an i9.
The upcoming #ZenBook Pro 15 is designed for pure power with the latest 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 hexa-core processor, gaming-grade NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti graphics, and a Harman Kardon certified audio system. pic.twitter.com/1EbnMDmoRxThe upcoming #ZenBook Pro 15 is designed for pure power with the latest 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 hexa-core processor, gaming-grade NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti graphics, and a Harman Kardon certified audio system. pic.twitter.com/1EbnMDmoRx— ASUS (@ASUS) April 3, 2018April 3, 2018
For the most part, that seems to be all it's getting. The GPU will stay as a GTX 1050 Ti, which isn't bad at all for a non-gaming laptop. The difference seems to be the jump from a quad-core i7 to a six-core i9. The ZenBook Pro, like the XPS 15, is a superb all-arounder for work and play, and I'm excited to see what the bump to an i9 will bring.
Current pricing is around $1,600 with a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), but with an i9 I'd expect to see that closer to, if not over $2,000. Right now there's no word on when it'll launch.
Samsung Notebook Odyssey Z
I wanted to be really excited about Samsung's first Odyssey gaming laptop, because we know how good Samsung hardware can be. The truth is it was a bit limp in the end, and I'm not even sure they went on sale officially in Europe, where I live.
Samsung is back, though, for another go and the Odyssey Z looks very interesting. We'll be seeing it with the six-core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD storage. Samsung makes incredible SSDs so you're going to get a great drive in this (or so you'd hope.) It's also going to pack a 6GB GTX 1060 which is plenty for some laptop-friendly gaming.
I like the design of this thing, too. It's reminiscent of the ASUS ROG Zepyhrus, with its right-aligned trackpad and front-loaded keyboard. This is all because of the Dynamic Spread Vapor Chamber cooling system, which sounds impressive, so long as it works as well as ASUS's cooling on its similarly designed laptop.
The worst part is that we have to wait until the third quarter of this year to see it in the west, with China and Korea getting an April 2018 launch. I just hope it's still grabbing attention by then, but with Computex fast approaching it could get swept aside.
Dell XPS 15 9570
It's impossible not to be excited by any refresh to the Dell XPS 15. The company's flagship performance laptop keeps on getting better and better, with a design that still looks impressive years after it was first introduced.
I don't really need to say much about it because it speaks for itself, but you'll be able to get an XPS 15 with a Core i9, 4K display with 100 percent Adobe RGB and a GTX 1050 Ti. And it's still about the smallest 15-inch laptop you can buy.
With style, power, and battery life, the latest XPS 15 should have it all. It continues to be one of those laptops that's easy to recommend. It should be available from April 16 with prices starting at $1,000.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M
The Zephyrus M is a slightly trimmed down version of the Zephyrus I previously reviewed, which doesn't sound that exciting. But, besides having the new six-core processors from Intel, it builds on the design of the original, improving it in some places while also achieving a lower asking price.
The original Zephryus was the poster child for NVIDIA's MaxQ GPU technology. It's a slim, light, all-metal gaming laptop with a GTX 1080 inside it that offers ridiculous gaming performance. The Zephyrus M should offer excellent gaming performance at a lower price in a very similar body, and you're still getting a GTX 1070 which is plenty for any gaming laptop.
It's the addition of a 144Hz display that helps push my excitement for this laptop. At 1080p, with this CPU and GPU combination, you get a system that can push higher frame rates that'll make that display sing. The only word on availability is that the new ROG laptops should be on sale from the end of April 2018, but beyond that, there's not a lot to go on.
That's what I'm most looking forward to from the new batch, but what about you? Let me know in the comments below!
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine