With modern laptops getting better and better over the years, Intel are constantly trying to emphasize their top-tier designs from the mass-market options.
That started back in the day when the term “ultrabook” was first introduced in order to set portable models apart from standard laptops, carried on later with a set of rules introduced by the Athena Project in 2019, and continues as of late-2020 with the Intel Evo platform certification, which adds a couple of extra requirements to the initial set imposed by Project Athena.
In just a few words, laptops that meet a wider set of strict requirements (called KEI – Key Experience Indicators) get to be certified as Intel Evo laptops. This detailed Intel fact sheet goes in-depth over these requirements, and here’s also a quick summary of these Evo KEIs.
So, in order to get the Evo badging, laptops:
- must run on Intel 11th gen Tiger Lake Core i5/i7 processors with Irix Xe graphics (or later), with 8+ GB of RAM and 256+ GB of SSD storage;
- must provide consistent responsiveness on battery;
- must instantly wake from sleep (in less than 1 second);
- must provide 9 or more hours of real-world battery life (on laptops with a FHD display) and must be able to charge quickly over USB-C (4+ hours of battery life in under 30 minutes of charging);
- must include modern connectivity options: WiFi 6 (Gig+), USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, optional LTE;
- must include biometrics (IR cameras or finger sensor), Precision touchpads, backlit keyboards, 3-side narrow bezels around the display, good speakers, and a few other aspects inherited from the original Project Athena fact sheet.
Of course, some of these requirements are rather subjective, such as the overall responsiveness with daily use, battery life, or audio quality, that’s why I still recommend going through detailed reviews to further research how these Evo certified ultrabooks actually fare in real-life.
As for the formats, expect mostly the thinner and lighter models to earn the Evo badging, both in standard (clamshell) and 2-in-1 form-factors. So far, I’m only seeing compact models with 13 to 14-inch screens in stores, but larger-screen 15-inch products should also be available at some point.
Initially, I was under the impression that a touchscreen is also a requirement for the Evo certification, which meant that matte-screen versions of certain laptops such as the Razer Book 13 or the Dell XPS 13 won’t get the Evo badge. That doesn’t seem to be always the case, though, as some OEMs do list matte-screen ultrabooks (such as the MSI Prestive 14 or the Asus VivoBook S14) as Evo-verified, so this part is still confusing to me. In all fairness, if you’re like me and prefer matte screens, you’d rather go with one of these over any of the touch alternatives, regardless of having that EVO badge or not.
Bottom point, Evo laptops are the better Intel-U powered ultrabooks you will find in stores throughout 2021 and later. Expect these to be excellently crafted, perform snappily with everyday tasks, and last for many hours on a single charge, while also including the latest in terms of features and specs.
At the same time, though, keep in mind that these are based on Intel Tiger Lake hardware right now, which is excellent for everyday use and multitasking, fine for light work, and OK for light gaming with the improved Iris Xe graphics. They’re not impressive in demanding CPU workloads, though, such as serious programming or video editing. For that, my recommendation still goes towards some of the AMD Ryzen U notebooks out there, even if this Intel video down-below might suggest otherwise.
Furthermore, keep in mind that not all Tiger Lake laptops are the same, as each implementation varies based on their size, thermal design, and power-profiles. That means the performance, thermals, and noise-levels vary between different laptops built on the same hardware specs, and once again, only detailed reviews can explain what you’ll actually get with each product.
With all these out of the way, let’s touch on the list of Evo-Certified laptops down below. We’re constantly updating these lists, but if you spot anything that should be in here and is not, please tell us about it in the comments section at the end of the article.
First off, we’ll start with the sub-14-inch Evo ultrabooks, and we’ll continue with the full-size options down below. We’ve included the main details on each option, links towards our more detailed reviews and guides, as well as links towards the latest configurations and prices at the time you’re reading the article, which might differ from the MSRP price listed here.
You’ll also find a list of EVO laptops available for purchase in your region over here. Some of these are affiliate links, and you know how they work and how they help us keep our small project alive.
14-inch and smaller Intel Evo ultrabooks
|Acer Book RS – Porsche Design||convertible||14″ FHD 16:9 IPS touch 100% sRGB||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||56 Wh||1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs||from $1999|
|Acer Swift 3 SF314-59||clamshell||14.0″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch 300-nits 100% sRGB||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||56 Wh||1.6 kg / 3.5 lbs||from $699|
|Acer Swift 5 SF514-55T||clamshell||14.0″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch 350-nits 100% sRGB||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||56 Wh||1.03 kg / 2.3 lbs||from $999|
|Asus VivoBook S14 S435||Clamshell||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD matte 400-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||67 Wh||1.3 kg / 2.9 lbs||from $799|
|Asus ExpertBook B9 B9400||Clamshell||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD matte 400-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||33 or 66 Wh||from .85 kg / 1.9 lbs||from $1699|
|Asus ZenBook 14 UltraLight UX435||Clamshell||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD matte 400-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe|
optional GeForce MX450
|63 Wh||.95 kg / 2.1 lbs||from $1499|
|Asus ZenBook Duo 14 UX482||Dual Screen||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch matte 400-nits|
|up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe|
optional GeForce MX450
|70 Wh||1.6 kg / 3.5 lbs||from $1599|
|Asus ZenBook Flip S UX371EA||convertible||13.9″ IPS 16:9 FHD/OLED UHD touch 450-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||67 Wh||1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs||from $1299|
|Dell XPS 13 9310||clamshell||13.4″ IPS 16:10 FHD+/UHD+ matte/touch 500-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||52 Wh||1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs||from $999|
|Dell XPS 13 9310 2-in-1||convertible||13.4″ IPS 16:10 FHD+/UHD+ touch 500-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||52 Wh||1.32 kg / 2.9 lbs||from $1099|
|Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1||convertible||13.3″ IPS FHD/UHD touch 300-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||53 Wh||1.25 kg / 2.73 lbs||from $899|
|Dell Inspiron 14 7000||clamshell||14.5″ IPS 16:10 QHD+ matte 300-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||52 Wh||1.26 kg / 2.78 lbs||from $899|
|Dynabook Portégé X30L||clamshell||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD matte/touch 300-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||53 Wh||.9 kg / 2 lbs||from $1299|
|Dynabook Portégé X30W||convertible||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD matte/touch 300-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||53 Wh||1 kg / 2.2 lbs||from $1299|
|HP Elite Dragonfly||convertible||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch 400-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||56 Wh||.99 kg / 2.2 lbs||from $1799|
|HP Elite Dragonfly Max||convertible||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch 400-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||56 Wh||1.17 kg / 2.5 lbs||–|
|HP EliteBook 830||convertible||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch/matte 400-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||53 Wh||1.25 kg / 2.8 lbs||$999|
|HP Envy 13||clamshell||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD/UHD matte/touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||51 Wh||1.31 kg / 2.88 lbs||from $799|
|HP Envy x360 13||convertible||13.3″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe|
optional GeForce MX450
|51 Wh||1.32 kg / 2.92 lbs||from $749|
|HP Spectre x360 13||convertible||13.3″ 16:9 IPS FHD/UHD touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||60 Wh||1.27 kg / 2.8 lbs||from $999|
|HP Spectre x360 14||convertible||13.5″ 3:2 IPS WUXGA+ or 3K OLED touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||66 Wh||1.33 kg / 3 lbs||from $1199|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 13s||clamshell||13.3″ 16:9 IPS FHD matte 300-nits 100% sRGB||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||56 Wh||1.4 kg / 3.09 lbs||–|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T14s||clamshell||14″ 16:9 IPS FHD/UHD matte/touch up to 500-nits||up to i7-1185G7 w/ Iris Xe||57 Wh||1.3 kg / 2.85 lbs||–|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X13||clamshell||13.3″ 16:10 IPS FHD+ matte/touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||48 Wh||1.3 kg / 2.85 lbs||from $1149|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Yoga||convertible||13.3″ 16:10 IPS FHD+ touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||50 Wh||1.27 kg / 2.8 lbs||from $1299|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano||clamshell||13″ 16:10 IPS 2K matte/touch 450-nits 100% sRGB||up to i7-1180G7 w/ Iris Xe||48 Wh||.96 kg / 2.11 lbs||from $1199|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1|
|convertible||13.5″ 3:2 IPS 2K+ touch 450-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||44.5 Wh||1.15 kg / 2.55 lbs||from $1899|
|Lenovo Yoga 7i 14||convertible||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD 300-nits touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||71 Wh||1.4 kg / 3.1 lbs||from $799|
|Lenovo Yoga 9i||convertible||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD 400-nits/ UHD 500-nits touch||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||63.5 Wh||1.35 kg / 3 lbs||from $999|
|Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon||convertible||13.3″ 16:10 IPS QHD touch 300-nits 100% sRGB||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||50 Wh||.96 kg / 2.13 lbs||–|
|LG Gram 14||clamshell||14″ IPS 16:10 FHD+ glossy 300-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||72 Wh||1 kg / 2.2 lbs||from $1199|
|MSI Prestige 14 Evo||clamshell||14″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch low-power||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||52 Wh||1.3 kg / 2.85 lbs||–|
|MSI Summit E13 Flip||convertible||13.3″ 16:10 IPS FHD+ touch||up to i7-1185G7 w/ Iris Xe||70 Wh||1.35 kg / 3 lbs||from $1599|
|Razer Book 13||clamshell||13.3″ IPS 16:10 FHD+/UHD+ touch 400-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||55 Wh||1.35 kg / 2.95 lbs||from $1199|
And here’s the second part that includes full-size 15 and 17-inch laptops. For now, there’s no such thing, but expect full-size Evo laptops to be released later on and we’ll add them here once available.
Full-size Intel EVO laptops
|LG Gram 16||clamshell||16″ IPS 16:10 QHD+ glossy 350-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||80 Wh||1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs||from $1399|
|LG Gram 17||clamshell||17″ IPS 16:10 QHD+ glossy 350-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||80 Wh||1.35 kg / 3 lbs||from $1499|
|Lenovo Yoga 7i 15||convertible||15.6″ IPS 16:9 FHD touch 500-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe||71 Wh||1.9 kg / 4.2 lbs||from $899|
|MSI Summit E16 Flip||convertible||16″ 16:10 IPS QHD+ touch||up to i7-1185G7 w/ Iris Xe|
included GTX 3050
|Xiaomi Mi Laptop Pro 15||clamshell||15″ OLED 3.5K 16:10 touch 600-nits||up to i7-1165G7 w/ Iris Xe|
included GeForce MX450
|66 Wh||–||from $999 ??|
As far as I understand, 15+ inch laptops with some sort of Nvidia GTX graphics don’t get the Evo badging, such as perhaps the Envy 14/15/17 or X360 15 from HP. They’re still portable and compact, but somehow miss on some of the criteria to qualify for Evo. Nonetheless, that shouldn’t keep you away from getting one of those, as the value
Expect a couple of other Evo-certified laptops to be released in the months to come. Intel taunts about 150 different designs based on 11th-gen Core hardware from pretty much all the known brands such as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, or Razer, but only about 20 of them will get the Evo badging from what we know so far.
You’ll also find a list of EVO laptops available for purchase in your region over here.
We’ll constantly update this list with the new additions, but we’d also appreciate your help. If you spot any Evo laptop that should be in here and is not, please get in touch in the comments section down below.