The 7th generation Core processsor first appeared at IFA 2016 — 10 times faster than the first Intel Core chips, 4K-friendly and USB-C/Thunderbolt 3-ready. The CPUs are now rolling out into new Windows 10 laptops, all-in-ones and 2 in 1 systems.
PCs have never been faster, lighter, thinner or more affordable.
HP’s 2016 refresh of its Spectre x360, for example, is 13 percent thinner and 11 percent lighter than the 2015 model. It also boasts a 25 percent longer battery life thanks to a larger battery cell and the improved energy efficiency of the new 7th-gen Intel Core processor inside it.
Ditto the updated 13.3-inch HP Envy. It’s slightly thicker and heavier than its predecessor, but trades this off with a 7th-gen processor upgrade and a 14-hour battery life. Unlike the x360, the new Envy offers a choice of Full HD or touchscreen QHD+ edge-to-edge panel options.
Speaking of glorious panels, the Dell XPS 13 (9360) with its InfinityEdge display has also bagged a CPU upgrade. Externally, Dell’s stylish laptop hasn’t changed — it doesn’t need to.
But beneath the brushed aluminium and carbon fibre chassis beats the silicon heart of the latest Core i5-7200U or i7-7500U processor. Like the HP Envy, you can choose between a Full HD or a QHD+ (3200 x 1800 pixel) touchscreen display.
Swift and fanless
The Acer Swift 7 was one of the first ultraportables to come with a 7th generation Intel Core chip and it’s one of the slimmest laptops you can buy. It’s not as powerful as some of the other machines here — it uses a fanless Intel Core i5-7Y54 rather than a U-series CPU. That said, the Swift 7 is nippy, lightweight and offers up to nine hours of battery life.
The Lenovo Yoga 900 is one of the most impressive and eyecatching 2 in 1 laptops around. The Yoga 910 is its latest incarnation. It features the same watchband hinge, alongside a new, ‘near edgeless’ 4K display and a 7th generation Core processor. Pair these with up to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD and you have an superbly versatile machine.
When is a laptop not a laptop?
The Razer Blade Stealth might not fold back on itself like the Yoga and you can’t use it as a ‘tent’. But it has a better trick up its aluminium sleeve. This is an ultraportable with a 12.5-inch display (4K or QHD), a 7th-gen Intel Core i7-7500U processor, up to 1TB of SSD storage and up to nine hours of battery life.
Plug it into the optional Razer Core, a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C external graphics enclosure, and the Stealth transforms into a powerful gaming desktop PC. The Razer Core supports full-length, double-wide PCIe desktop graphics cards like the AMD Radeon R9 Fury and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080.
Last, and by no means least, the ASUS ZenBook 3 UX390UA is 910g of beautiful laptop with a 12.5-inch Full HD display toughened up with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. It’s powered by a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor, packs up to 16GB of RAM, a USB-C port and a zippy 1TB SSD. In terms of battery life, ASUS claim it can keep you computing for up to nine hours.
These are just seven systems currently featuring the latest i5 and i7 processors. Find out more about 7th generation Core and PC upgrade options here.