What is Intel Evo? The mobile performance standard explained - MrLiambi's blog


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Wednesday, 14 December 2022

What is Intel Evo? The mobile performance standard explained

Intel Evo is the chipmaker's specification for thin-and-light laptops and - thanks to the label shown above - should provide a guarantee of great mobile performance on laptops.

Intel unveiled Project Athena at CES in early 2019 but while Athena isn't a consumer brand, Intel Evo is. It's very much like what Intel did with Ultrabooks around a decade ago to revolutionise the thin and light PC laptop market in the wake of the launch of Apple's MacBook Air in 2008. 

What is Project Athena and Intel Evo?

Intel Evo is a brand you'll see on ultraportable laptops that guarantees a certain level of performance - we've explained more detail on that below.

Project Athena was, essentially, the codename for this programme, but Intel says that Intel Evo laptops are "co-engineered and verified through Intel's Project Athena innovation program". In other words, it's the process laptops go through to get the Intel Evo branding. 

And what is that process? It's basically a set of standards that Intel wants for laptops. Intel said its engineers will work with companies like HP, Dell, and many more to create laptops that meet its standards. It'll even test them before they can become certified.

Intel's former Ultrabook brand was always about go-anywhere devices that had top-notch Wi-Fi connectivity in days when Wi-Fi was a bit more of an inconsistent experience - the best part of a decade ago. 

Nowadays though, it's more about "do anything" as well as "go anywhere" - you really can have one laptop to rule them all. And, with 2-in-1, 360-degree flip laptops like the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 that's totally possible. 

The idea is similar to Intel's Ultrabook program that began in 2012 but with a much wider set of criteria. The original Ultrabook standards were based on getting the best battery performance in the smallest device possible. They had to meet exact standards for thinness, weight, responsiveness, and battery life.

The result helped close the gap between Windows-powered laptops and MacBooks.

Within a couple of years, plastic PC rigs transformed into sleek metal beasts, with the likes of Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre x360. All these, if they met Intel's criteria at the time, were called Ultrabooks.

Now, Intel is trying this again with Evo in an effort to spur more innovation among premium laptop makers.

What is the criteria for Intel Evo certification? 

Intel Evo certified laptops have to meet a range of specifications based on its design, battery, and hardware. There are six categories: instant action, performance and responsiveness, intelligence, battery life, connectivity, and form factor.

The biggest takeaway is that Intel Evo laptops need to deliver nine hours of battery life. That includes browsing the web over Wi-Fi and with the screen set to a level of brightness (250 nits).

So no more of this bogus "24-hour battery" promise - but only with Wi-Fi off and the lowest screen brightness. Intel said it put serious research behind the creation of its standards criteria.

It wanted to gauge what was most important to real-life laptop users both at home and in the workplace. It also plans to perform rigorous testing on each laptop seeking Intel Evo certification.

As time has passed there have been more recent additions to the requirements. For example, the third generation of the Intel Evo bade requires these specifications as a minimum:

  • An Intel 12th Gen Intel SoC
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E support
  • Dynamic background noise suppression
  • Intel IPU6/MIPI camera or FHD camera
  • Intel Visual Sensing technology
  • Intel Connectivity Performance Suite

Additionally, Intel Evo devices can include Intel Arc discrete graphics and H-series CPUs as well. 

Intel believes its criteria will actually satisfy modern users' needs, and it's going to make sure manufacturers don't cheat them.

Is there an Intel Evo logo? 

Yes, there is - you can see it at the top of this article. Originally Intel told us there was no Project Athena brand or logo, but there is a 'visual identifier'. Yes, that really is what they said. The logo or badge - as that's what it is, see it below - said 'engineered for mobile performance' but appears to have been replaced by the Evo logo above.

Which manufacturers make Intel Evo laptops?

Many high-end laptops are Intel Evo-certified including laptops from Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Google, Microsoft, Asus, Samsung, and Xiaomi. Indeed over 40 models are now available. 

Source : https://www.pocket-lint.com/laptops/news/intel/148184-intel-project-athena-explained-how-it-could-make-premium-laptops-better

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