We finally got the official announcement of the Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs and with it a torrent of new Tiger Lake laptop announcements. The biggest news is Intel claiming that it expects 150 laptops with Tiger Lake from the likes of Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI and Razer just to name a few.
One big selling point for Tiger lake is the leap in integrated graphics performance for Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, the new Intel Iris Xe graphics could turn thin-and-light laptops into passable casual gaming laptops. And the new SuperFin technology, which was well detailed by our sister site Tom’s Hardware, will also allegedly deliver superior performance while drawing less power which sounds like another great match for portable and ultraportable laptops.
While not all 150 laptops were ready to go right out of the gate, we shared enough of them this week that I wouldn’t blame you if you missed a few so we wanted to highlight some of the Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake laptops that we’re most excited to get our hands-on.
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Dell XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1
A consistent fixture among our best laptops page, we have to lead things off with both of the new Tiger Lake Dell XPS 13 variants. The traditional clamshell and 2-in-1 model will both get Tiger CPUs with Iris Xe graphics, making them one of the more interesting options as possible light gaming laptops for those that want to stick with something a little more mainstream.
Dell didn’t have a lot more to share about the updated laptops, but they appear largely unchanged physically from the Dell XPS 13 (2020), but as our reviewer said, “the XPS 13 is a showstopper” and that design and virtually bezel-less display didn’t really need any tweaks just yet.
We are still waiting on pricing and availability for these laptops, but we expect them to arrive before the end of the year. They’re unlikely to vary considerably from the current $1,149 base pricing, but as always you can head north of $2,000 depending on your configuration.
Asus VivoBook Flip 14
The entire Asus VivoBook line is getting a Tiger Lake makeover, but the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 (2020) which we recently reviewed is of particular interest. Our review unit is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U processor and integrated AMD Radeon graphics. That makes this a fantastic test case for how the new Tiger Lake will stand up to the stiff competition from AMD which had our reviewer “gobsmacked by the breakneck, rapid-fire performance scores” from the simple little 2-in-1.
It’s an excellent little do-it-all laptop with an ample array of ports, including Thunderbolt 4 which was naturally missing from the AMD model. The laptop easily swaps between clamshell, tent and presentation modes making it well suited for students that might like to use it for content consumption in their downtime.
No official word yet on pricing, but Asus has said that the Flip 14 will arrive alongside the rest of its updated Tiger Lake laptops in October.
Acer Swift 5
Both the Acer Swift 3 and the Acer Swift 5 will be getting the Tiger Lake treatment, but the Swift 5 in particular managed to grab our attention thanks to its claimed 17 hours of battery life. Now while we have proven that you need to take battery life claims with a grain of salt when you are starting with 17 hours there is some room to fall and still impress us.
According to Acer the Swift 5 is a “performance-minded” laptop and while it might not quite be able to take on the XPS 13 in the bezel-free display department, it comes pretty close. The new Iris Xe graphics could be a real difference maker for this laptop that put up mixed benchmark results when we reviewed the Intel 10th Gen Ice Lake Swift 5 earlier this year.
The tapered magnesium-alloy design remains largely the same from the previous model that our reviewer said gave him “a genuine ‘wow’ moment” when he picked it up thanks to its incredibly light 2.3-pound weight.
If the Swift 5 can leverage the performance enhancements of Tiger Lake while retaining everything that made last year’s model great it will be a formidable option for those that crave the thinnest, lightest laptop available.
The Acer Swift 5 will start at $999.99 and begin shipping in November alongside the Swift 3 14-inch and 13.5-inch at $699 and $799 respectively.
MSI Summit E Series and B Series
MSI is making business laptops now? Yeah, there was no chance this one was slipping past us. The well-known gaming laptop manufacturer is looking to enter the corporate world with its Summit line that will be powered by Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake. That includes an E line with dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q graphics and a B line with the integrated Iris Xe graphics.
All of the laptops share a similar basic design with a sandblasted aluminum chassis in Black Ink with gold trim and a stylized MSI logo in gold on the lid. Leaving aside personal preference, it is the sort of look that won’t be out of place in a business setting and adds a splash of interest with the gold trim.
MSI has definitely done its research with support for a variety of ports that business customers will like such as USB Type-A, Thunderbolt 4, microSD, a headphone/mic jack and HDMI on every model with the exception of the E14. Naturally, the laptops include strong security features as well with a fingerprint sensor, IR camera for facial recognition on the E Series, and a TPM 2.0 chip for data encryption.
While we’ll withhold judgment until we see them in person, the images certainly look beautiful and while MSI may have an uphill battle to break into the business market this looks like an impressive first effort.
Asus ExpertBook B9
It’s another business laptop, but stay with me this one looks pretty amazing. The Asus ExpertBook B9 naturally incorporates the new Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPU options along with Intel Iris Xe graphics, which should address one of our complaints with the previous model. You can configure it with 16 or 32GB of RAM depending on your needs.
It retains its incredibly slim and lightweight magnesium-alloy design and at just 2.2 pounds, it’s one of the lightest 14-inch laptops on the market. The bezels aren’t quite gone, but at 0.2 inches you will be struggling to see them. All of this while still managing to pass MIL-STD-810H military grade testing against temperature extremes, shocks, drops, altitude and spills and strikes to the keyboard.
The array of ports remains solid as well with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, USB Type-A, HDMI, RJ45 Ethernet jack, a headphone/mic jack and a Kensington lock.
The full-size backlit keyboard also still offers a pretty generous 1.5mm of key travel, which again is astounding given the size of this laptop. Unfortunately, it still features a pet peeve of one of our reviewers with a power button immediately adjacent to the Delete key.
Last year’s ExpertBook B9 was one of the longest-lasting laptops that we had ever tested running 16 hours and 42 minutes in our test. We don’t have estimates from Asus yet for this model, one would hope it could meet or exceed that mark with its new Tiger Lake chipset.