New Intel chips want to make your laptop connect, work and play better

A handful of "optimized for connectivity" Y and U-series CPUs from Intel have been announced at IFA and are coming to slim laptops soon.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

Intel is adding six new laptop CPUs to its lineup, the company announced at this year's IFA  technology trade show in Germany. Three new U-series and three new Y-series processors are joining Intel's 8th generation of Core i-series parts. Previously, these chips were known by the code names Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake. 

These are for laptops , tablets and two-in-one devices that range from mainstream clamshells to thin, fanless designs, and include support for integrated gigabit Wi-Fi, which Intel says is a first for this class of consumer PC. Those system will be labeled as "Optimized for Connectivity."


The six new CPUs are in the Core-m and Core-i families and include:

  • 1.1GHz Core m3-8100Y
  • 1.3GHz Core i5-8200Y
  • 1.5GHz Core i7-8500Y
  • 2.1GHz Core i3-8145U
  • 1.6GHz Core i5-8265U
  • 1.8GHz Core i7-8565U

In introducing the new CPUs, Intel says that its goal was to address pain points like low-battery anxiety. By encouraging further power efficiencies, newer laptops can hit up to 16 hours of battery life. The U and Y-series chips may also provide enough of a performance boost to convince people holding into older computers to upgrade. Intel claims there are a large number of users still working on PCs more than five years old, and that the latest 8th-gen CPUs can usually double the performance of that 5-year-old system.

Gaming anywhere

Intel is also focused on gaming, which is somewhat surprising, as the integrated graphics chips in Intel platforms have not kept up with PC gaming needs over the years. For most gamers, low-cost laptops and desktop with Nvidia graphics hardware for as little as $799 have filled some of that performance gap.

But Intel says it wants to support casual gaming, which the company defines as games like World of Warcraft or World of Tanks. To help buyers figure out what games they can play, and what settings to use, check out Intel's existing gameplay.intel.com website, which provides a list of compatible games, and suggested resolution and detail level settings based on your exact hardware, including updated setting for these new CPUs. 


More importantly, although these new CPUs don't offer any new integrated graphics hardware, Intel says the overall efficiency of these chips, especially compared to the laptops of a few years ago, will offer smoother pen and inking performance and near-real-time 4K video rendering.

Look for laptops and tablets with these latest 8th-gen Intel CPUs to be announced at IFA and shipping soon after. 

Laptops with the best battery life: See the top 25 laptops and 2-in-1 PCs with the longest battery life. 

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