Buying a new laptop? Wait a few more days!
The new era for laptops would start in the Fall of 2015. At least, that is what I was hoping when I postponed the purchase of my next laptop. Why did I have such high expectations you may think? It’s because both Windows 10 and Skylake will be released. Skylake is not a new James Bond movie, it’s Intel’s 6th generation Core processor microarchitecture. In my head this would be the perfect timing for all the big companies to introduce their new models.
It seems like it was worth the wait, as the fireworks have already started. Microsoft revealed their first laptop, the Surface Book (https://informationstrategyrsm.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/the-ultimate-laptop-microsoft-surface-book/) during their event on October 6, as well as the Surface Pro 4, the successor of the very successful Surface Pro 3.
So why wait a few more days? Because many laptop companies will launch their new Windows 10-based devices in the upcoming weeks. After all, you don’t want to buy a new laptop and then see it become outdated in a matter of weeks. Microsoft offered a schedule for when and where these third-party announcements will take place:
- October 7, we’ll take the stage with HP in Barcelona
- October 8, we’ll be in New York City with Dell
- October 9, we’ll be in San Francisco, with ASUS
- October 12, we’ll be in Taipei with Acer
- October 13, we’ll be in Tokyo with Toshiba
- October 19 we’ll be back in San Francisco with Lenovo
One could argue that for those with high expectations, the desktop version of the Skylake processor series was a slight dissapointment. It offered only a five to ten percent performance increase over it’s predecessor, the Haswell CPU. However, the area in which the new Skylake structure shines is far more interesting for laptop users: power consumption and efficiency. With a Skylake processor your laptop will last longer. Also, the chips are smaller and the internal graphics card is improved.
In case I’ve just convinced you of the advantages of Skylake, let’s take a look at the new laptop models announced and quickly discuss their unique selling points. The first one on the list is HP. HP has just announced 2 new models. The Spectre x2 and the Envy laptop. The Spectre x2 is a tablet in combination with a keyboard. It is very similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro. In short, it is a convertible with a 12’’ screen and a 1920×1280 pixels resolution. It is very light with 0,84 kilo without- and 1.24 kilos with keyboard and will contain an Intel core M Skylake processor. The Envy laptop is a 13’’ laptop, which is claimed to be the slimmest laptop the company has ever built. HP will also revamp its popular Spectre x360 with new Skylake processors.
Dell is not lacking behind. The company has just updated its full XPS line. The XPS 15 now comes with Dell’s patented Infinity edge screen. This means that while the screen is 15,6’’, the laptop will only be 14’’, due to the small bezels. This laptop however is not available for those on a student budget, as it starts at €1479 (including taxes). The very popular XPS13 now comes with a Skylake processor and different RAM and memory possibilities. Last but not least, Dell introduced a 12’’ XPS convertible. You can even configure this model with a 4k touchscreen. Personally I do not see the benefit in that, as many applications do not support 4k yet and one wil therefore experience scaling issues too often. Besides, it is debatable whether a 12’’ screen is big enough to warrant a 4k resolution.
I plan to update this blog when Acer, Asus, Toshiba and Lenovo announce their new models. For now, I’m also quite intrigued by the recently announced Microsoft Surface Book, however that one will not be released in Europa for the next 6 months, For the Apple users out there, I’m afraid you’re also going to have to wait a bit longer to enjoy Skylake. Apple has updated it’s Macbooks not too long ago.
I don’t think it’s worth it to upgrade to a Skylake model if you have a fairly recent laptop, just for the sake of Skylake. Do you plan to upgrade? And if so, share your train of thoughts here!
Crijns, K. (2015). Intel Skylake architectuur review: Intels 6de generatie Core CPU’s | Hardware.Info Nederland. [online] Nl.hardware.info. Available at: http://nl.hardware.info/reviews/6242/intel-skylake-architectuur-review-intels-6de-generatie-core-cpus [Accessed 9 Oct. 2015].
Tweakers, (2015). Dell geeft XPS 15-laptop een update met dunne schermranden en uhd-resolutie. [online] Available at: http://tweakers.net/nieuws/105685/dell-geeft-xps-15-laptop-een-update-met-dunne-schermranden-en-uhd-resolutie.html [Accessed 9 Oct. 2015].
Tweakers, (2015). HP brengt Spectre x2-convertible en 12,9mm dunne Envy-laptop uit. [online] Available at: http://tweakers.net/nieuws/105668/hp-brengt-spectre-x2-convertible-en-12-komma-9mm-dunne-envy-laptop-uit.html [Accessed 9 Oct. 2015].
Ung, G. and Ung, G. (2015). Intel Skylake CPU details revealed: These faster, more power-efficient chips can even drive three 4K monitors. [online] PCWorld. Available at: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2972823/components-processors/intel-skylake-laptop-cpus-should-use-less-power-run-faster-and-can-even-drive-three-4k-monitors.html [Accessed 9 Oct. 2015