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Intel’s latest 11th Gen H-series chips promise the fastest ultraportable gaming laptops yet

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But they’re limited to just 35W chips for now

After releasing its first wave of 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors last year, Intel is kicking things up a notch at CES 2021 with its first H-series 11th Gen Core chips, which will bring the benefits of Tiger Lake (like the 10nm process and the overhauled Xe integrated graphics) to even more powerful machines.

There is a catch, though: the first wave of 11th Gen H-series chips will be the lower end of that bracket, maxing out at 35W processors — instead of the more powerful 45W chips that represent the top of Intel’s gaming laptop range. (The company is still working on those models, which it promises to have more details on in the near future.)

So while the new 35W H-series chips won’t be the processors found in the beefiest and best gaming laptops money can buy, they will offer some pretty impressive performance — meaning smaller or lighter laptops could start punching above their weight class, even with smaller core counts and less thermal headroom.

Specifically, Intel is touting that its new i7-11375H — the top-of-the-line model in the H35 lineup, with four cores, eight threads, and a boosted clock speed of up to 5GHz — offers the fastest single-thread performance of any laptop, matched only by Intel’s best 45W H-series chip from last year. It’s impressive, especially considering that the new model has less raw power to work with here.

The new chips will also support Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 or 6E, feature integrated Thunderbolt 4 support, DDR4 memory at up to 3,200 MHz and LPDDR4/x at up to 4,266 MHz, and PCIe Gen 4.0. As for graphics, hardware companies will be able to either rely on the already impressive integrated Xe-LP graphics or add additional discreet options from companies like Nvidia.

And while the lack of even more powerful 11th Gen laptop chips may be disappointing to some, Intel did start teasing what to expect next: an 8-core processor that will start shipping “later this quarter” with speeds up to 5GHz, although details on that are still slim.

The first laptops powered by the new 11th Gen H35 chips are expected to be announced at CES 2021, including models from Acer, Asus, MSI, and Vaio, with Intel expecting over 40 designs released in the first half of the year.