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Intel 11th Gen vPro CPUs unveiled — and they're already a big deal

Intel vPro
(Image credit: Intel)

Shopping for a new business laptop? Stop right there. At CES 2021, Intel announced its 11th Gen Core vPro processors, a new chipset set to give business notebooks a performance and security boost.

Intel released its 11th Gen Tiger Lake chips in late 2020 for consumer laptops, and now it's bringing those same processors to its vPro platform. As a reminder, vPro integrates security and manageability features so IT admins can deploy business laptops to their workforce.

The new 10-nanometer chips arrive at a crucial time when remote working is a norm as efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 keep us out of the office. To make your working at home environment less stressful, Intel's new 11th Gen vPro chips promise faster performance, better graphics, improved connectivity and several new security features. 

Intel 11th Gen Core vPro: Specs

CPU modelCores/ThreadsOperating rangeBase clockMaximum (single core)Maximum (all cores)
Core i7-1185G7 4C/8T12-28W3.0Ghz4.8Ghz4.3Ghz
Core i5-1145G74C/8T12-28W2.6Ghz4.4Ghz4.0Ghz
Core i7-1180G74C/8T7-15W1.3Ghz4.6Ghz3.7Ghz
Core i5-1140G74C/8T7-15W1.1Ghz4.2Ghz3.5Ghz

Intel 11th Gen Core vPro CPUs: Performance

Intel boasts significant performance gains from these new 11th Gen vPro chips especially when it comes to graphics. As our reviews of 11th Gen-powered laptops have shown, the Iris Xe graphics in Intel's latest CPUs are better than any integrated solution we've seen thus far, capable of playing AAA games at decent frame rates. 

For business users, that means running graphics-heavy programs like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere without the need for a discrete GPU (although it would certainly help). 

When it comes to raw performance, Intel promises 23% faster productivity than competing chips when using apps like Microsoft 365 and more than 50% faster productivity for video conferencing calls. Other bold are the 11th Gen chips getting 1.19x better overall application performance versus 10th Gen CPUs and that they're 1.21 faster when web browsing. Among the more staggering statistics is that 11th Gen vPro has 8x better AI performance than its predecessor. 

We wouldn't read too much into these stats just yet; we hear claims like this all the time — wait for our benchmarking and comparisons to AMD's solutions for a better idea of how they compare.

Intel 11th Gen vPro vs. AMD Ryzen Pro

Again, you shouldn't take too many of Intel's claims to heart. That being said, we'd be remiss not to mention some of the advantages Intel says its chips have over AMD's Ryzen 4000 Pro series. 

That includes 1.38x better overall application performance when comparing the 11th Gen Intel Core vPro i7-1185G7 with the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750U using the SYSmark 25 benchmark. Using those same processors, Intel says the Core i7 gets 1.24x faster web browsing and 5x better AI performance than the Ryzen 7. 

And if Intel's numbers check out, the Core i7 vPro is 1.23x faster when using Office and 1.82x faster with video editing. 

Intel 11th Gen vPro connectivity and features

With 11th Gen Intel vPro, business notebooks get the newest connectivity features, including Thunderbolt 4, the latest USB-C standard capable of connecting to multiple 4K monitors, and Wi-Fi 6E for 3x faster theoretical speeds than Wi-Fi 5. I want to emphasize theoretical because getting to those speeds requires the right hardware and service plan.

There are also new features designed to make the actual user experience more fluid, including the ability to quickly log in and improvements to fast charging so you can get 4 hours of juice out of a 30-minute charge. Speaking of battery life, Intel is aiming for these vPro-equipped laptops to get at least 9 hours on a charge, which is more or less our minimum requirement for ultrathin devices. 

New security features including Intel Control-Flow Enforcement, which provides hardware-based protection against several classes of attacks like memory safety-based attacks and control flow subversion techniques. There is also Intel Threat Detection Technology for real-time insights on end-user devices for IT admins. 

Outlook

Intel 11th Gen vPro is already a hit with laptop vendors as 60 new laptops are set to sport the new processors, some of which will be Intel Evo vPro certified. We already got a close look at the HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8, Microsoft is launching a Surface Pro 7 Plus with 11th Gen vPro, and Lenovo has the redesigned ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga scheduled to launch soon.

We know these chips will arrive in dozens of business laptops in the next few months, but are they as good as Intel says? More importantly, can they outperform AMD's solution and remain competitive against whatever comes next from its biggest rival? We'll find out soon!

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.