It´s the most wonderful time of the year for tech enthusiasts. CES 2022 shows off the latest and greatest in technology, including (and most important for us) the newest laptop technology. There has been only one full day of CES, but the news are already plentiful and very exciting.
The first major player on the chopping block was AMD, who didn´t hold back one bit, announcing new Ryzen 6000 CPUs based on “Zen3+” architecture and new 6000 series mobile Radeon graphics.
The new CPUs consist of a reworked version of Zen3 platform on a new 6 nm node with RDNA 2 integrated graphics. For the first time, we have an option of a 5 Ghz max boost CPU in the form of the 6980HX. In the vast list of changes, it is to notice the jump to DDR5 memory, PCIe Gen 4 storage and USB4 support. AMD, strangely, only provided performance comparisons with U series processors instead of more powerful H series, so we will have to wait to fully understand the gains. Also to note the claim of up to 24 hours of battery life possible with these new gen processors.
In relation to graphics cards, AMD announced a very interesting concept: the 6000S series. Instead of having the same nomenclature for every graphics card regardless of the wattage (which we witnessed in 2021 with Nvidia), the 6000 graphics cards from AMD are divided in S series, which targets slimmer, lighter designs, and the M series targets the thicker designs. M series receive a refresh with the 6 nm node that promises to bring 14% more performance to the table, and new XT 6000M were added to the AMD mobile GPU family.
On the software side, AMD had some big updates to show as well, introducing RSR (Radeon Super Resolution), which basically stands for FSR that works in almost any game (instead of requiring the game supporting it). From the name, it´s clear to assume that this, unlike FSR, won´t be natively supported by both Radeon and Nvidia GPUs.
Finally, AMD also announced it´s version of Advanced Optimus, SmartAccess, which automatically sets usage of the iGPU or dGPU according to the workload at all times.
For a more detailed look at the AMD keynote, you can check out Jarrod´s Tech video and check:
Intel was soon to respond to AMD´s newest and greatest with their own newest and greatest, announcing the new 12th Gen CPUs for laptops based on the innovative Alder Lake hybrid technology, with P and E cores that try to achieve maximum efficiency. Also introduced was a new family of processors, the P range, which targets high performance thin and light designs with up to a 28W TGP.
Just like AMD, Intel´s new processors support new DDR5 memory, Gen 4 storage and other newer connectivity technologies. In terms of specs, L3 cache and base and boost clocks remain very similar comparatively to 11th Gen counterparts. The biggest difference is the core and thread count, which is massively up in all of the new processors.
Intel´s own testing appears to show the new 12th gen CPUs to correct a flaw that has been present for many years with Intel: power efficiency (performance per watt used), and Intel isn´t being low on their expectations, stating from their graphs that their high end H processors beat new Apple silicon (M1Max) at any power level that they´re being compared. However, Intel stated that this doesn´t necessarily means better battery life. For that, we will have to wait for individual testing.
In gaming, Intel claims up to a 28% leap, but we will have to wait for our trustworthy reviewers to truly compare and show the raw performance of these new machines. But as in desktop 12th gen, the biggest leap of this new generation should be productivity, with the immense boost in core and thread count being very important in this matter.
Again, for more detailed information, check Jarrod´s Tech video about 12th Gen mobile CPUs:
ASUS was one of the first big players in laptops to announce their all new lineup for this exciting year of 2022. The changes that are common to every new laptop are the change to DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 4 storage across the board, even on TUF models, and also the presence of a MUX switch (that allows to disable Optimus and therefore gain a speed boost in more CPU heavy games) in all of the models listed, something that many reviewers have noted for many years now. Now, for the more specific changes:
- Zephyrus G14: The new G14 for 2022 gets a full AMD setup (there appears to be no Nvidia option) of up to Ryzen 9 6000 HS CPU and up to 6800S Radeon GPU. It gets a new 16:10 120Hz 500 nits screen with 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage, a vapour chamber, contacting with the CPU and GPU via liquid metal in both instances, and, finally, a webcam, with Windows Hello IR capabilities. To be noted that this laptop still comes always with half of the RAM soldered to the motherboard.
- Zephyrus Duo 16: The most premium laptop in ASUS gaming line also gets 16:10 screens, with various options within every resolution, refresh rate and colour gamut, and it introduces Dual Spec screens: with one of the screen´s options, the user can decide if it prefers Full HD 240 Hz or 4K 120 Hz within their preference. It also gets a webcam like the G14, with Windows Hello IR features. In terms of specs, it comes with up to Ryzen 9 6980HX and the newly announced Nvidia RTX 3080Ti graphics.
- Strix Scar 15: This line is now Intel based, with up to i9-12900H Alder Lake CPUs inside, along up to RTX 3080Ti graphics. It doesn´t get a webcam, though. Screen options vary between 1440p 240 Hz and 1080p 360 Hz with Adaptive Sync, both 16:9.
- Strix G: This line is now AMD based, with up to 6900HX CPUs and RTX 3080Ti graphics. Screen options are the same as the Scar.
- TUF A15 and F15: These lines get new specs upgrades with up to Ryzen 7 6800H and Core i7-12700H respectively, along with RTX graphics not specified up to 140W. Both can get screens up to QHD 165 Hz and FHD 300 Hz, and are equipped, even if they are budget oriented, up to PCIe Gen 4 storage and DDR5 memory.
- TUF Dash F15: This line now only has 1 processor option, the Core i7-12650H 10 core 16 thread CPU, far better than the 2021 model. It also gets a boost in GPU wattage (now up to 100W), a webcam and numpad on the keyboard.
ASUS didn´t mention upgrades to M16, G15 or the Flow 13 in their CES presentation, but it is known that they will also receive similar updates to their specs like the rest. The Advatange Edition of the Strix G15 appears to not be updated this year. At last, there is a new model, the Flow Z13, a gaming tablet with a detatchable keyboard.
For a more detailed explanation on new ASUS models, check out Jarrod´s Tech video on the subject:
Lenovo may not have made such a fuss in their presentation as ASUS did, but the improvements on their lines are also significant, following a very good 2021 year with well reviewed popular models. Strangely, in this presentation, there was no mention of the top line Legion 7 and Legion 7i. But the Legion 5 and 5 Pro lines get new bells and whistles, with DDR5 memory, PCIe Gen 4 storage and more:
- Legion 5 and 5i: These lines will get the newest AMD and Intel CPUs, up to Ryzen 7 6800H and Core i7-12700H, along with up to 125W RTX 3070Ti graphics, possible to implement thanks to Lenovo´s new cooling design with stronger more effective fans. For the first time, the Legion 5 will get 1440p screens, with a 165 Hz refresh rate. Build quality was also revised, with a 15% thinner design and a aluminum finish on the main body.
- Legion 5 Pro and 5i Pro: These lines will get up to a non disclosed AMD (this was not confirmed, but i should go to Ryzen 9 6900HX, given the Intel max option) and Core i9-12900H, with up to 165W RTX 3070Ti graphics, again demonstrating the improvements in cooling to accomodate significantly more powerful parts. The screen is the same as last year, except in a higher 240 Hz refresh rate.
Both these lines get new RGB software named Spectrum.
MSI, on their Gamerverse annual livestream, announced some news on their revised lineup, focusing more on the Creator line. One of the main attractions of this livestream was the disclosure of phase changing liquid metal that in MSI´s vision will solve a lot of problems related mainly to long term maintenence.
In this livestream, MSI announced a totally revised Stealth GS77, with a totally new construction and features in relation to the GS76. This new laptop comes with up to Core i9 CPUs and Nvidia RTX 3080Ti graphics cards, cooled by Cooler Boost 5 technology, the mentioned phase changing liquid metal pasting, and retains lot of MSI´s own features, like per key RGB lighting. Screens can go up to 4K 120 Hz display.
Since the topic is new laptops, MSI also announced a new model called the MSI Crosshair GL 15, a mid-high end gaming laptop with up to i9 CPUs from Intel and up to 3070Ti graphics with a 140W wattage limit with Dynamic Boost, paired with a QHD 240 Hz screen.
Like mentioned, MSI focused a lot of effort in this livestream to the new Creator laptops for 2021, the Z17 and the Z16P, both with the signature super high quality CNC aluminium build and 16:10 True Pixel displays with immense colour gamut and accuracy. Both are powered with up to 12th Gen i9 CPUs and up to 3080Ti graphics from Nvidia, and the Z17 is the first 17 inch laptop to exhibit pen supported for creators.
Also announced was the refresh of the GE Raider, remaining GL laptops, GP and 15M series laptops with new gen hardware, but no apparent major changes in design.
You can rewatch MSI´s livestream to get all the details that you think we missed here:
Dell is another company that has been very active on CES these days, both on the ultrabook side as the gaming side, with Alienware.
Dell teased the new XPS 13 at CES, revealing a totally refreshed look, powered by the new Intel Core P CPUs, with a 28W TGP. Along with completely different complementing keyboard switches, the function keys are now capacitive and the trackpad is gone completely. It´s a very different look for an iconic name in the ultrabook thin and light range. In terms of the remaining specs, the XPS concept always adopted high quality InfinityEdge displays, and the same applies here.
Now on Alienware, some big changes and new laptops were announced. Firstly, there is a new adition to the 14 inch gaming laptop space, the X14. This is a smaller, more compact version of the X15 or the X17, powered by Intel CPUs up to a i9-12900H and up to RTX 3060 graphics with 60W of base power, with solderered LPDDR5 memory up to 32GB and paired with a 144Hz 1080p display with Gsync and Advanced Optimus capable. These are, comparatively, very understated specs compared to the competion. It has a webcam capable of Windows Hello and solid metal build characteristic of Alienware.
Also announced was Alienware´s new m17 R5 gaming laptops. These come with up to Ryzen 9 6980HX CPUs and the option of maxing on non disclosed RTX 3000 GPU (probably 3070Ti and 3080Ti) or going full AMD with up to the RX 6850M XT GPU with a max power of 175W. It also comes with PCIe Gen 4 storage and DDR5 memory. In terms of screens, there are 165 and 360 Hz 1080p options as well as 120 Hz 4K panel, all with GSync or Freesync, and Advanced Optimus and SmartAcess, for both Nvidia and AMD models respectively.
On the 15 inch form factor, Dell announced a refresh of the m15 line with the R7 models, which should come with the latest and greatest CPUs and GPUs from Intel, AMD and Nvidia. To be noted is a large price gap between the starting price of AMD and Intel models of the R7, the first starting at 1499 USD and the other at 2099 USD.
Finally, the X15 and the X17 models were also refreshed, with the 12900HK being available on the X17 along with new gen graphics, LPDDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 4 storage.
Watch this video by Jarrod´s Tech to gain access to full specsheets and details on pricing:
Much more news to come in the remaining CES, stay tuned for more publications about this important time of the year for tech enthusiats. Stay safe!