Intel Corporation announced the Intel Evo platform brand for premium and portable laptops in September 2020 alongside the introduction of the 11th-generation Intel Core Tiger Lake chips. The first wave of Evo-branded laptops arrived during the fourth quarter of 2020 and more laptops have been introduced in the market since.
Reviews from reputable tech journalists and influencers have been promising. A number of manufacturers have added the brand to their portfolio of products. But what exactly is Intel Evo? How is it different from Intel Core? What does the brand mean? Are there advantages and disadvantages to owning and using an Intel Evo laptop?
Explaining Intel Evo as a Platform for Designing and Manufacturing Laptops
Note that Intel Evo is not a chipset or a hardware component. It is specifically a platform developed and implemented by Intel Corporation to promote laptop innovation. The company drew inspiration from its earlier Project Athena initiative.
Project Athena was launched in 2019 during a Computex exposition as an innovation program aimed at redesigning the laptop experience by learning how people use their devices, as well as resolving the challenges they encounter from using such.
To be part of the program, Intel identified key requirements that manufacturers should include in the development of their laptop brands. Called Key Experience Indicators, these include, among others, long and consistent battery life and instant resuming capabilities.
Intel Evo is the second edition of Project Athena. Intel Corporation was clear that the Key Experience Indicators of Project Athena were initial targets, and Evo expands these targets further to include new specifications.
Key Experience Indicators
Nevertheless, as a platform for introducing innovative laptops, Intel Evo provides manufacturers with guidelines on how should they design and manufacture their laptops, particularly if they wish to attach the Evo branding on their products.
These guidelines are communicated through the following Key Experience Indicators:
• Battery Performance: Battery life on a single charge should last at least 9 hours on full high-definition displays, and the performance should always be consistent.
• Standard Chipset: Laptops with the Evo branding should sport at least the 11th-generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Xe graphics that can deliver three times faster photo and video editing.
• Immersive Design: Furthermore, aside from the Intel Iris Xe graphics, the devices should have thin bezels and an FHD touch display with a real estate ranging from 12 to 15 inches to make screen time more immersive and enjoyable.
• Wi-Fi Standard: These laptops should be based on the Wi-Fi 6 standard to deliver three times faster wireless internet connection speed.
• Responsiveness: Another Key Experience Indicator of Intel Evo is responsiveness. The laptop should wake up from idle in less than a second, and it should be 40 percent more responsive than two-year-old laptops.
• Wired Connectivity: An Evo laptop should also support USB-C charging, as well as fast-charging capabilities, and should feature Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Other requirements include a minimum of 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state storage based on NVMe, biometric login capabilities using face recognition, fingerprint reader, or Bluetooth proximity sensor, 720p camera, and an optional Gigabit LTE connectivity.
A Note on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Intel Evo Laptops
Advantages and Benefits
One of the advantages of Intel Evo is that it provides some sort of standardization within the laptop market, and especially among manufacturers of Intel-branded and Windows-based laptops. Remember that the Key Experience Indicators collectively represent a set of guidelines that can aid in the product development strategy of a particular manufacturer.
The emphasis on the user experience, especially the requirements pertaining to battery performance, graphics and display requirements, wired and wireless connectivity, overall processing performance, and form factor and overall design standardize what an all-around portable computer should be all about.
Note that an Evo badge placed on a particular device provides manufacturers with an additional selling proposition, thus aiding in their marketing strategy and specific promotional strategy. Intel Corporation also proactively markets Evo-branded laptops.
Furthermore, the branding can aid consumers with their purchasing decisions. To be specific, the Key Experience Indicators essentially correspond to a standard level of expectation for powerful but portable well-rounded laptops. A laptop with an Evo badge can aid consumers in what to expect regarding its performance and use cases.
Another advantage of Intel Evo is that it uses the most latest chips from Intel. The Intel Core Tiger Lake is the current standard. Because it is the most latest generation since 2020, they are the best when compared to the previous generations. Of course, this standard will be replaced upon the arrival of the newer generations of Intel Core processors.
Disadvantages and Limitations
However, as the name implies, a notable disadvantage of the Intel Evo platform is that it is limited to manufacturers that are planning to build a device based on Intel Core hardware. In addition, it is also important to stress the fact that despite being some sort of an industry standard, Evo laptops are primarily based on the Windows operating system.
There are other processors that can compete and even outcompete the most latest version of Intel Core processors. These include AMD Ryzen central processors and graphics-dedicated graphic processors, as well as the power Apple M1 series of ARM-based processors, most notably the Apple M1 Pro and Apple M1 Max.
Evo-branded devices also cater to the specific ultraportable market segment. Ultraportable laptops are inherently thin and lightweight—requirements that are part of the Intel Evo Key Experience Indicators. Although particular Evo devices with the most advanced configuration can handle intensive use, there are devices designed and built for a particular use.
Consider gaming laptops as an example. It is impossible for them to meet all of the requirements of the Evo platform because their form factor naturally leans toward the bulkier side to accommodate dedicated GPUs and advanced cooling systems. Their specified use case and powerful hardware configuration also mean reduced battery performance.
Another drawback is that the required battery performance is limited to displays with Full HD. Other manufacturers have been using display screens with higher resolution and advanced display technology that would consume more energy than FHD display screens. Examples of these include displays with 1080p resolution and 4K to 8K resolution.
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