AMD announced its Mendocino mainstream mobile platform during Computex 2022. This Zen 2-based chip architecture is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2022. Whereas the company’s Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs are geared toward high-end laptops, AMD's new Mendocino APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) chips accommodate everyday notebooks. Given the comparatively moderate specs, the chips are intended for laptops in the $399 to $699 range.
Spec-wise, Mendocino APUs feature four Zen 2 cores and integrated RDNA 2 graphics on TSMC’s 6-nanometer process. Going with Zen 2 is interesting considering Zen 4 is slated to release in the latter half of the year. But given how Mendocino chips are meant for budget-friendly laptops, going with Zen 2 architecture isn’t unreasonable. As AnandTech (opens in new tab) notes, RDNA2 is still cutting edge for AMD. The company didn’t say how many GPU cores we can expect, but it may not be many.
AMD says Mendocino-powered notebooks can deliver over 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. “Most people are used to four, five, six hours on a notebook in the $399 to $699 space,” says AMD technical marketing director Robert Hallock during the company's Computex presentation (opens in new tab). “At a minimum, we want 10 hours out of these notebooks.”
10 hours of battery life should be sufficient to get someone through a typical workday, and it's a very attainable goal for AMD, whose chips are already commonplace in the ultraportable market. We’ve previously reviewed machines like the Acer Swift 3, Asus Zenbook 13 OLED, HP Pavilion Aero 13 and Lenovo ThinkPad X13 – all of which we deemed solid devices. If those notebooks are anything to go by, then the upcoming crop of Mendocino machines should be worthwhile for folks wanting an affordable laptop to work on. But we’ll need to get some hands-on time with these devices to see how they stack up and if they’ll land on our best laptops and best business laptops lists.
In other AMD laptop news, the company recently announced its “Dragon Range” line of gaming laptops that are aiming to deliver the “pinnacle of gaming performance” and have the "highest core, thread and cache ever for a mobile gaming CPU.” Team Red also announced its Ryzen 7000 processors, which are expected to arrive in Fall 2022.