Earlier this month, the public got its first glimpse of Iris Xe Max, Intel’s new discrete GPU for thin-and-light laptops, at an Acer press event. Today, Intel revealed the full first wave of laptops that will include this GPU, some of which are available for purchase now in certain countries.
The laptops include the Acer Swift 3X, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1, and the Asus VivoBook Flip TP470. The Inspiron 15 is available in the US at Best Buy; Acer has previously said to expect the 3X in the US in December. Both the Swift 3X and the Inspiron 15 are also available in China through JD.com. Intel says the Asus VivoBook is coming “shortly” to both the US and China.
Intel’s Iris Xe Max graphics are primarily intended for portable systems for content creators. “We set out to redefine the role of discrete graphics in thin-and-light laptops and address a growing segment of creators who want more portability,” said Roger Chandler, Intel vice president and general manager of Client XPU Product and Solutions, in a statement.
The three new laptops also include Intel’s 11th Gen “Tiger Lake” mobile processors, as well as Intel’s Deep Link technology, which allows certain applications to leverage both discrete and integrated graphics for creative work. Intel claims that Tiger Lake systems paired with Iris Xe Max graphics can provide “seven times faster AI-based creation” than similar laptops with third-party GPUs.
The company also claims its GPU can deliver “great thin-and-light 1080p gaming on popular games.” We shouldn’t get too excited about this until benchmarks come out — it would certainly be surprising to see laptops of this size running Microsoft Flight Simulator. But Iris Xe integrated graphics do a decent job with stuff like Overwatch, so you may very well be able to run lighter fare if Acer, Dell, and Asus can keep cooling under control.
I got some hands-on time with the Acer Swift 3X, which starts at $899.99. It’s a slim and portable machine, with a decent port selection and a nice-looking screen. But our test unit wasn’t finalized, so I couldn’t put the graphics to the test. Much of whether that system (and others like it) are worth their price tags for creators will depend on GPU performance, battery life, and display quality — so keep an eye out for our upcoming reviews.