The age of AI laptops has arrived, at least according to Intel.
We've gone hands-on with a few laptopts sporting Intel's new AI-focused Core Ultra Meteor Lake chips ahead of the company's big unveiling, which you can read all about in our Intel Meteor Lake event recap.
The main draw here is the Core Ultra’s NPU (Neural Processing Unit), which is optimized for “AI” workloads like image processing, text generation from LLMs (Large Language Models) and more. Intel hopes its new Core Ultra chips will usher in a new age of computing.
If you’re curious about laptops with Meteor Lake chips, you don’t have to wait as a few devices are now available. While these notebooks are mostly refreshed models, their respective Meteor Lake chips should make programs with AI features run more efficiently. That alone could be a selling point for folks who use programs like Audacity, OBS, GIMP and more on a regular basis.
Here are some of the first AI laptops you can buy right now. But get ready — we expect even more to be announced on a rolling basis between now and CES 2024 in January!
Intel Core Ultra laptops available now
Acer Swift Go 14
The Acer Swift Go 14 ($999) is the first “AI laptop” we’ve reviewed. Computing editor Alex Wawro thinks this is a great ultraportable for the price. However, he was a little disappointed because there isn’t much that’s useful or fun you can do with the Meteor Lake NPU at this time. Still, this is an overall decent laptop for what it offers in terms of portability and performance.
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED
Next up is the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED ($1,299), which has also been refreshed with an Intel Core Ultra CPU. I’m a fan of Asus Zenbooks since they’re the definition of “ultraportable” thanks to their thin and light design. You’re also getting a gorgeous OLED panel, which just adds to this laptop’s allure. The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED with Intel Core Ultra comes with my highest recommendation.
MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO
The MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO ($1,399 to start) is one of the first AI laptops I got to check out. Though I wasn’t able to test its AI capabilities, I liked its bright and colorful 16-inch display and overall slim design. I also appreciate that it has Wi-Fi 7, which is something not all Meteor Lake laptops feature. There’s also a 13-inch version of this laptop, the MSI Prestige 13 AI EVO available for $1,099.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12
Lenovo announced the Meteor Lake-driven ThinkPad X1 Carbon and ThinkPad X1 2-in-1. The latter won’t be released until March 2024, but you can now get the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12 ($2,989). As with most devices on this list, the main selling point of the refreshed ThinkPad X1 Carbon is its Core Ultra chip. If you like ThinkPads and want to check out NPU features, you might want to consider this laptop.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12: $2,989 @ Lenovo
The refreshed Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has the same design we've come to expect from the popular laptop line, only it sports a fancy new Intel Core Ultra 7 CPU. On top of that, it also sports a 14-inch 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800), OLED display, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.
Lenovo IdeaPad Pro 5i Gen 9
The Lenovo IdeaPad Pro 5i is the last Intel Core Ultra I want to spotlight. I haven’t seen or tested this one yet, but it’s worth considering given that it currently costs $956. You can configure this laptop with an OLED display, up to 32GB of RAM, up to 1TB of SSD storage, and up to an RTX 4050 graphics card, though that’ll raise the price. The Lenovo IdeaPad Pro 5i comes in 14 and 16-inch models.
Upcoming Meteor Lake laptops
Acer Predator Triton Neo 16
The Acer Predator Triton Neo 16 is one of the few upcoming gaming laptops to feature a Meteor Lake CPU. Releasing in March 2024 starting at $1,499, expect this portable gaming rig to sport up to an Intel Core Ultra 9 processor, up to an RTX 4070 GPU, up to 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of SSD. It will also have a 16-inch 3,200 x 2000 display with a 165Hz refresh rate.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 2-in-1
If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 with Intel Core Ultra, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 2-in-1 will be available in March 2024. Like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12, this 2-in-1 features a 14-inch 2.8K OLED touch display with a 120Hz refresh rate.
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Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.