With modern laptops getting better and better over the years, Intel are constantly trying to emphasize their top-tier designs from the mass-market options.
That started back in the day when the term “ultrabook” was first introduced in order to set portable models apart from standard laptops, carried on later with a set of rules introduced by the Athena Project in 2019, and continues as of late-2020 with the Intel Evo platform certification, which adds a couple of extra requirements to the initial set imposed by Project Athena.
In just a few words, laptops that meet a wider set of strict requirements (called KEI – Key Experience Indicators) get to be certified as Intel Evo laptops. This detailed Intel fact sheet goes in-depth over these requirements, and here’s also a quick summary of these Evo KEIs.
So, in order to get the Evo badging, laptops:
- must run on Intel 11th gen Tiger Lake Core i5/i7 processors with Irix Xe graphics (or later), with 8+ GB of RAM and 256+ GB of SSD storage;
- must provide consistent responsiveness on battery;
- must instantly wake from sleep (in less than 1 second);
- must provide 9 or more hours of real-world battery life (on laptops with a FHD display) and must be able to charge quickly over USB-C (4+ hours of battery life in under 30 minutes of charging);
- must include modern connectivity options: WiFi 6 (Gig+), USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, optional LTE;
- must include biometrics (IR cameras or finger sensor), Precision touchpads, backlit keyboards, 3-side narrow bezels around the display, good speakers, and a few other aspects inherited from the original Project Athena fact sheet.
Of course, some of these requirements are rather subjective, such as the overall responsiveness with daily use, battery life, or audio quality, that’s why I still recommend going through detailed reviews to further research how these Evo certified ultrabooks actually fare in real-life.
As for the formats, expect mostly the thinner and lighter models to earn the Evo badging, both in standard (clamshell) and 2-in-1 form-factors. So far, I’m only seeing compact models with 13 to 14-inch screens in stores, but larger-screen 15-inch products should also be available at some point.
Looks like a touchscreen is also a requirement for the Evo certification, and that means that matte-screen versions of certain laptops such as the Razer Book 13 or the Dell XPS 13 won’t get the Evo badge, yet that doesn’t make them worse products by any means. In fact, if you’re like me and prefer matte screens, you’d rather go with one of these over any of the touch alternatives. At the same time, the MSI Prestige 14 gets the Evo badge and doesn’t offer a touchscreen, so this part is a little confusing right now.
Bottom point, Evo laptops are the better Intel-U powered ultrabooks you will find in stores in the second part of 2020, and most of 2021. Expect these to be excellently crafted, perform snappily with everyday tasks, and last for many hours on a single charge, while also including the latest in terms of features and specs.
At the same time, though, keep in mind that these are based on Intel Tiger Lake hardware right now, which is fine for everyday use, light work, and perhaps some light gaming with the improved Iris Xe graphics, but not impressive in demanding CPU workloads such as programming or video editing. For that, my recommendation still goes towards some of the AMD Ryzen U notebooks out there, even if this Intel video down-below might suggest otherwise.
Furthermore, keep in mind that not all Tiger Lake laptops are the same, as each implementation varies based on their size, thermal design, and power-profiles. That means the performance, thermals, and noise-levels vary between different laptops built on the same hardware specs, and once again, only detailed reviews can explain what you’ll actually get with each product.
With all these out of the way, let’s touch on the list of Evo-Certified laptops down below. We’re constantly updating these lists, but if you spot anything that should be in here and is not, please tell us about it in the comments section at the end of the article.
First off, we’ll start with the sub-14-inch Evo ultrabooks, and we’ll continue with the full-size options down below. We’ve included the main details on each option, as well as links towards our more detailed reviews and guides, as well as links for updated configurations and prices at the time you’re reading the article, which might differ from the MSRP price listed here.
14-inch and smaller Intel Evo ultrabooks
|Acer Book RS – Porsche Design||convertible||14″ FHD 16:9 IPS touch 100% sRGB||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||56 Wh||1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs||from $1999|
|Acer Swift 5 SF514-55T||clamshell||14.0″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch 350-nits 100% sRGB||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||56 Wh||1.03 kg / 2.3 lbs||from $999|
|Asus ZenBook Flip S UX371EA||convertible||13.9″ IPS 16:9 FHD/OLED UHD touch 450-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||67 Wh||1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs||from $1699|
|Dell XPS 13 9310||clamshell||13.4″ IPS 16:10 FHD+/UHD+ matte/touch 500-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||52 Wh||1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs||from $999|
|Dell XPS 13 9310 2-in-1||convertible||13.4″ IPS 16:10 FHD+/UHD+ touch 500-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||52 Wh||1.32 kg / 2.9 lbs||from $1099|
|Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1||convertible||13.3″ IPS FHD/UHD touch 300-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||53 Wh||1.25 kg / 2.73 lbs||from $899|
|Dell Inspiron 14 7000||clamshell||14.5″ IPS 16:10 QHD+ matte 300-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||52 Wh||1.26 kg / 2.78 lbs||from $899|
|Dynabook Portégé X30L||clamshell||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD matte/touch 300-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||53 Wh||.9 kg / 2 lbs||from $1299|
|Dynabook Portégé X30W||convertible||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD matte/touch 300-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||53 Wh||1 kg / 2.2 lbs||from $1299|
|HP Envy 13||clamshell||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD/UHD matte/touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||51 Wh||1.31 kg / 2.88 lbs||from $799|
|HP Envy x360 13||convertible||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||51 Wh||1.32 kg / 2.92 lbs||from $749|
|HP Spectre x360 13||convertible||13.3″ 16:9 IPS FHD/UHD touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||60 Wh||1.27 kg / 2.8 lbs||from $999|
|HP Spectre x360 14||convertible||13.5″ 3:2 IPS WUXGA+ or 3K OLED touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||66 Wh||1.33 kg / 3 lbs||from $1199|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 13s||clamshell||13.3″ 16:9 IPS FHD matte 300-nits 100% sRGB||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||56 Wh||1.4 kg / 3.09 lbs||–|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano||clamshell||13″ 16:10 IPS 2K matte/touch 450-nits 100% sRGB||up to i7-1180G7 w/ Iris Xe||48 Wh||.96 kg / 2.11 lbs||from $1399|
|Lenovo Yoga 7i||convertible||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD 300-nits touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||71 Wh||1.4 kg / 3.1 lbs||from $899|
|Lenovo Yoga 9i||convertible||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD 400-nits/ UHD 500-nits touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||63.5 Wh||1.35 kg / 3 lbs||from $1599|
|Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon||convertible||13.3″ 16:10 IPS QHD touch 300-nits 100% sRGB||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||50 Wh||.96 kg / 2.13 lbs||–|
|MSI Prestige 14 Evo||clamshell||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch low-power||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||52 Wh||1.3 kg / 2.85 lbs||–|
|Razer Book 13||clamshell||13.3″ IPS 16:10 FHD+/UHD+ touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||55 Wh||1.35 kg / 2.95 lbs||from $1199|
And here’s the second part that includes full-size 15 and 17-inch laptops. For now, there’s no such thing, but expect full-size Evo laptops to be released later on and we’ll add them here once available.
Full-size Intel EVO laptops
Expect a couple of other Evo-certified laptops to be released in the months to come. Intel taunts about 150 different designs based on 11th-gen Core hardware from pretty much all the known brands such as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, or Razer, but only about 20 of them will get the Evo badging from what we know so far.
We’ll constantly update this list with the new additions, but we’d also appreciate your help. If you spot any Evo laptop that should be in here and is not, please get in touch in the comments section down below.