Tech

Lenovo ThinkPad laptops embrace Intel's AI-infused Core Ultra chips

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12Image: Lenovo

Lenovo recently gave us a sneak peek at its latest ThinkPad laptops, which are getting the “Meteor Lake” treatment as Intel’s new 14th-gen Core Ultra chips debut. The latest generation of Intel Core processors (aka Meteor Lake or Intel Core Ultra) are designed with both performance and efficiency in mind. Intel’s new CPUs are made of Lego-like blocks (or tiles) in which the CPU and GPU are on separate silicon bits and then adhered together, along with the introduction of a new “neural processing unit” for AI tasks. Cool, right? Let’s dive right into the bits and bobs then.

Further reading: Inside Meteor Lake: Intel’s radical new Core chip

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12

Lenovo

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12 doesn’t stray much from its predecessors as far as the exterior goes. Same ThinkPad logo. Same signature red nub in the center of the keyboard. The change lies deep within and out of sight with the Intel Core Ultra processor. According to Lenovo, the CPU features three compute engines: CPU, GPU, and NPU (otherwise known as the Neural Processing Unit). Offloading tasks onto the GPU and NPU frees up the CPU, resulting in better power management and performance. The CPUs also offer faster AI-powered tasks such as generative text, text-to-image capabilities, and more. The question is, will these CPUs edge out the previous generation? Only time will tell.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon will have the latest Intel Core Ultra processors, up to 64GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. The 14-inch 2880p OLED display will feature a refresh rate of up to 120Hz and a maximum brightness of 400 nits. Given those numbers, the picture quality should be nice and vibrant. This machine also includes the usual fingerprint reader, a physical camera shutter, and a Kensington lock slot. The starting weight is 2.45 pounds, which is lighter than some ultraportables on the market right now.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon will become available (with a few limited configurations) in December 2023 with a starting price of $2,989.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 9

Lenovo

Like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga Gen 9 doesn’t look much different from the previous iteration. You’re getting the same 360-degree hinge as well as a display with barely-there bezels. Again, the change comes from within. The Intel Core Ultra is the star of the show here with its three compute engines and its mission to be the most power-efficient CPU around. This machine also supports AI-powered tasks, which is a nice feature if you’re editing images or creating something brand new. The ThinkPad Yoga is also a convertible laptop, which means you can position it upright like a tent or flip the screen around and use the device like a tablet.

In addition to featuring the latest Intel Core Ultra processors, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga Gen 9 will come equipped with up to 64GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of Gen 4 PCIe NVMe SSD storage. That’s more than enough power for day-to-day productivity. The 14-inch 2880p display has narrow bezels and a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. It also has a starting weight of 2.92 pounds, which is heavier than the Carbon X1 but not by much, and still falls under the ultraportable umbrella.

The ThinkPad Yoga Gen 9 2-in-1 will launch in March 2024 with a starting price of $2,639.

Ashley is a professional writer and editor with a strong background in tech and pop culture. She has written for high traffic websites such as Polygon, Kotaku, StarWars.com, and Nerdist. In her off time, she enjoys playing video games, reading science fiction novels, and hanging out with her rescue greyhound.

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