HP's new ProBook laptops boast 8th-gen processors and beefy battery life

Geronimo Vena
Agosto 21, 2017

The 8th generation chips, through, for the first time in the Core line will be doing a mixture of both.

The company is starting the roll out of its 8th Gen family today, beginning with a range of mobile processors designed specifically for thin and light premium notebooks and 2-in-1 devices. The company says the QuickSync encoder in the i7-8550U can export a 4K HEVC video in just three minutes using Cyberlink PowerDirector, compared to the whopping 45 minutes required for a CPU encode on that same i5-3317U. However, the company would also reveal a member of its 9th-generation Core family: Ice Lake that would be built on a 10-nanometer plus process and would be launched in near future. Intel is also positioning the new 8th generation chips towards customers with older computers, noting that while current generation Kaby Lake owners will see a moderate boost in performance, customers upgrading from say, a five year-old Ivy Bridge system would see over double the speed from their current systems. As you can see in the die shot above, those refinements have made it possible for Intel to squeeze four cores and eight threads into 15W Core i5s and Core i7s.

Intel has been the mainstay of PC computing for years now. In the past, Intel has either used generational steps for introducing new chip architectures (say, the jump from 22nm to 14nm between Haswell and Broadwell) or to offer an improved version of the previous generation's architecture (like Skylake, which was an upgraded version of the 14nm node). Last generation's Core i7-7600U boasted a lower peak Turbo speed than the i7-8650U at 3.9 GHz, but its 2.8 GHz base speed is a whopping 900 MHz higher than the eighth-gen chip's.

New built-in security features in the chips will include Intel Online Connect, which will enable users to pay for goods online and authenticate their identity using fingerprint readers built into the PC, with support in services such as GMail, Facebook and Dropbox. If you've got a relatively new laptop, 4K video playback should be no problem, but it usually comes at the expense of battery life.

Contrary to many rumors, Intel didn't discuss upcoming changes in its desktop processor lineup or set new desktop products for launch today. Intel also talks about having the ability to get "up to 10 hours of 4K UHD local video" with one battery charge and editing video up to 14.7x faster than a year ago - but it all depends on the system, of course. Amazon Prime Video and Vudu will soon add support for Intel integrated graphics processors, as well. Those products will begin rolling out next month.

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