It wasn’t that long ago that ultrabooks and 2-in-1s were running a maximum of two cores, four threads. But things have changed a lot since then, especially this year.
At the start of the year was CES 2019, and that was where Intel officially announced 10th Gen Ice Lake, and a few months after that, the reveal of the lineup for mobile 10th Gen Ice Lake CPUs.
So it’s now nearing the end of the year, and we have the Lenovo C940, a unique 2-in-1 that features just that.
Honestly, our first impression when we took this laptop out of the box, was how premium it felt. The entire chassis is made up of aluminium, and overall it feels really solid.
The model we have is the 14-inch variant, which sports a 4K IPS touch display. Needless to say, the viewing angles are great and the colours are nice and vibrant.
The other unique thing about the C940 is the hinge which houses the speakers, making it kind of like a soundbar. And thanks to this design, even if you put the laptop in tablet or tent mode, the speakers are unobstructed. I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised by the audio experience.
Overall, great design. It’s definitely something I would personally consider as my daily driver.
But let’s talk about the chip that powers this very device, the Intel Core i7-1065G7, a 10th Gen chip. Now you might be saying, hold up, what’s so special about 10th Gen?
Well, the more astute might have realised that it’s been a while since there’s been a jump in the fabrication process.
For the longest time, Intel has been stuck on the 14nm process, which started with 6th Gen Skylake way back in 2015. Now you might then question again, but Cannon Lake was first to feature a 10nm process? Yeah, just one CPU as far as I know, the Core i3-8121U.
That’s it. So what do you actually get, from a jump in the fabrication process?
The actual cores within the CPU, which Intel named Sunny Cove, are “faster and wider” according to how Intel described it. But it basically means there’s an increase in the instructions per clock. Couple that with Dynamic Tuning 2.0, you will be getting quite the performance improvement.
In layman’s term, even though you might see the new chips run at the same or lower clocks as compared to the previous generation, it’s going to be able to achieve higher performance in things like creative applications, or just daily usage.
The next big thing that 10th Gen brings to the table is the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6. Yes, Thunderbolt 3 has been around for a while, but that was always an option that was left up to the manufacturers to include or not, via a discrete controller from Intel.
This time, the function itself is embedded right in the CPU. So manufacturers save space and cost, while you as the user enjoy the benefits of Thunderbolt 3 right from the get-go.
The other thing is Wi-Fi 6. In short, you get to enjoy much faster wireless speeds on both the 2.4GHz band and the 5Ghz band. Simple as that. It also makes a lot of sense, since most ultrabooks or 2-in-1s like the C940 right here forgo an RJ45 port, so wireless is your only option.
Another thing that I’m sure many people out there would appreciate is the support for LPDDR4X RAM.
Of course, it’s going to be faster than LPDDR3, no doubt, but the real benefit is the amount of RAM you can now stuff in a thin and light laptop. LPDDR3 caps out at 16GB of RAM, which is plenty for most, but if you’re the type who wants more, well, you now can.
The last thing might come as a surprise, and that’s gaming capabilities.
The new Intel Iris Plus graphics on the 10th Gen Mobile CPUs is a huge step forward, compared to the previous generations. Intel claims that it is able to hit 1 Teraflop of performance and is capable of 1080p gaming.
Of course, frame rates aren’t going to be the best, especially in comparison to having a dedicated GPU. But suffice to say, if you’re a light gamer, just having Intel Iris Graphics might be enough for you.
So that’s all the benefits that Intel 10th Gen brings in a nutshell.
More and more devices will be equipped with them, with the C940 being one of the first of many, so if you’re in the market to get a laptop right now, perhaps you should take a look at one that has a 10th Gen Intel CPU.
This video is brought to you in partnership with Lenovo.