Update, 4/5/18, 2:40pm PT: Added Eurocom Q6 entry.
Update, 4/5/2018, 1:20pm PT: HP announced new laptops featuring Intel’s Coffee Lake-H processors. Unlike many of the other products in this roundup, HP’s wares are targeted at the general consumer and professionals, not gamers looking for thinner and lighter gaming laptops.
Original article, published 4/3/2018, 1pm PT:
Intel announced the latest Coffee Lake-H processors in the wee hours of the morning, and OEMs were quick to reveal their latest-and-greatest laptops equipped with the new CPUs. All the usual suspects–Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and others–contributed to the flood of product revelations. But Coffee Lake-H also prompted some other companies, like Origin PC and Samsung, to contribute their own new devices to the mix.
We’re bound to see more and more of these Coffee Lake-H-equipped laptops in the future. Between these processors, Nvidia’s Max-Q graphics, and AMD’s efforts to push into the laptop market, the future of on-the-go gaming has never looked as powerful. (Or as sleek.) Check out the products below, and be sure to come back as we update the piece when more thin-and-light powerhouses head to market.
Acer updated its Nitro series of mainstream gaming notebooks with the latest 8th-Gen Intel CPUs. The most powerful of the bunch comes with a six-core i7-8850H, whereas less powerful options come with the four-core i5-8300. The most powerful GPU that can be had in any of the new Nitro 5 laptops is the GTX 1050 Ti. Although this GPU is far from the fastest, it should be plenty enough for running current popular titles on the laptop’s 1080p screen.
Beyond updating its old laptops, Asus launched a new thin-and-light called the Zephyrus M. At first glance, the M might look like another standard Zephyrus GX501, but it’s actually all new. Beyond being ever-so-slightly larger than the GX501, the M has a keyboard and trackpad that are at the usual locations. The M inherits the GX501’s bottom-lift system that separates the bottom panel of the laptop from the body for extra cooling. Specs-wise, the Zephyrus M series sits below the GX501. The CPU on offer is the i7-8750H, and the GPU options are the GTX 1070 8GB and GTX 1060 6GB.
As for updated laptops, Asus has the refreshed the Zephyrus GX501, G703, Strix Scar, and Strix Hero. The GX501 (review here) now comes with the i7-8750H CPU, and the G703 has been updated with six-core Core i7 and i9 options. The more mainstream-targeted 15” Strix Scar and Hero laptops, which are versions of the GL503 (review here), now both have the option of a six-core i7-8750H or a quad-core i5-8300H.
Dell launched a new laptop line called the G series. There are 15” and 17” models on offer. Regardless of size, all have the option of a six-core i7-8750H or a quad-core i5-8300H CPU, and all can be equipped with a choice of GTX 1050, 1050 Ti, or 1060 Max-Q GPUs. As for the more premium products, Dell’s 15” XPS can now similarly be optioned with either the i7-8750H or the i5-8300H CPU, whereas the even higher-end Alienware 15 and 17 have gained six-core Core i7 and Core i9 CPU options.
We already covered it separately, but Digital Storm launched the new Equinox gaming laptop. It’s available in only one CPU and GPU combination–an i7-8750H CPU with a GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU. By default, 16GB of memory and a 512GB NVMe SSD are included. Digital Storm’s philosophy for the Equinox is that it should provide adequate performance in all games. Consequently, the laptop can only be had with a 1080p 144Hz screen.
Eurocom launched the Q6 gaming laptop, which strongly resembles Digital Storm’s Equinox. For starters, it has the same i7-8750H processor and GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics. It does have the option of a 4K screen, though. The Eurocom lacks the Digital Storm’s RGB keyboard and begins at a slightly lower price. Externally, it’s clear that the Q6 and Equinox share the same chassis and port layout.
Taking after its competitors, Gigabyte also updated its laptop lines to with new six-core Intel CPUs. The Aero series (review here) are Gigabyte’s thin-and-light notebooks, and beyond getting the new i7-8750HQ CPU, they now come with new 144Hz 1080p and 60Hz 4K screen options. Gigabyte’s more gaming-focused Aorus series (review here) of notebooks, which comes in 15” and 17” versions, only saw processor updates. Most of them now sport six-core i7-8850H CPUs, but the flagship Aorus X9 gains the Core i9-8950HK.
HP’s new Coffee Lake-H-equipped laptops aren’t for gaming like most of the others here are. Instead, the company launched completely redesigned versions its ZBook workstation laptops. The G5 ZBooks come in 15” and 17” models that can pack everything from the four-core i5-8300H to the six-core Xeon E-2186M. They all also have discrete graphics options, including various AMD Radeon Pro and Nvidia Quadro graphics cards. HP is also making the screen a major focus on the new ZBooks. All models except for the mid-range ZBook 15v have the option of a 4K wide-gamut DreamColor display and built-in colorimeter.
HP also redesigned its ZBook Studio line. These are, relatively, more mobile versions of the traditional ZBook laptops. The ZBook Studio and its 2-in-1 sibling, the Studio x360, can still mount powerful six-core Xeon processors, but they’re limited to Nvidia Quadro P1000 graphics card. The ZBook Studios can only fit this much hardware because they’re not nearly as thin and light as they appear to be. The lighter of the two still weighs more than 2kg. Storage and ports won’t be a problem on any of HP’s new notebooks. All the ZBooks can fit a NVMe M.2 SSD as well as a 2.5” drive, and all have Thunderbolt 3-capable USB-C ports.
MSI brought its full lineup to Intel Coffee Lake-H. On the thin-and-light side is the new GS65 Stealth, a step up from the older GS63 (review here). It comes with a six-core i7-8750H, but the GPU options are similar to its older brother. The GS65 comes with either a GTX 1070 Max-Q or GTX 1060. At the slightly-less-mobile middle ground sits the updated GE Raider (review here). It comes in 15” and 17” versions, which have the same specs. Generally, the GE Raider series is a thicker but cheaper option compared to the GS Stealth laptops. Finally, at the gaming powerhouse end sits the updated Titan series (review here). They range in sizes up to 18.3” and are the only MSI laptops that can be equipped with six-core Core i9 CPUs or GTX 1080 GPUs.
Origin updated the existing EVO15-S gaming laptop (review here) and its professional workstation cousin, the NT-15, with new six-core Intel Coffee Lake CPUs and new screen options. In addition to all previous options, the duo now have options for an i7-8750H CPU and a 144Hz 1080p matte screen. Selecting the newer CPU means you get a newer platform and WiFi card as well–the gigabit-capable Intel 9560. Other aspects, such as I/O and the GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU, remain largely unchanged.
Of the notebook manufacturers mentioned here, Samsung is the odd one out. The company chose Intel’s mobile Coffee Lake launch to release its new Odyssey Z thin-and-light gaming laptop. It has a similar layout to the Asus Zephyrus GX501 in that the keyboard and trackpad are located on the bottom edge of the laptop.
It’s far from the Asus specs-wise, however. The Odyssey Z will be coming with a yet-to-be specified six-core Coffee Lake CPU and what Samsung is calling a GTX 1060 “Max-P” GPU, which isn’t a typo. The company specifically states that the Odyssey Z’s GTX 1060 should perform on average 10% better than a GTX 1060 Max-Q. We’ll have to wait to see what exactly Samsung is up to here, because the notebook isn’t arriving until Q3 2018.