Intel’s 10nm CPU finally makes it to retail in a refreshed Lenovo IdeaPad laptop

lenovo ideapad laptop lists intel cannon lake cpu

A laptop now listed in Asia is one of the first to sport Intel’s 10nm “Cannon Lake” processor. More specifically, it’s the unannounced Intel Core i3-8121U that just appeared in the company’s database sporting two cores with a base speed of 2.20GHz and a maximum speed of 3.20GHz. Both listings reveal that Intel’s 10nm processors are finally beginning to emerge on the market. 

Intel first teased its 10nm processor at the beginning of 2017, packing it into a superthin 2-in-1 device. Products were scheduled to roll out later that year, but the launch never happened. Intel instead pushed back its Cannon Lake rollout until 2018 due to manufacturing difficulties stemming from the 10nm process. The smaller the processor components, the more problematic the manufacturing process becomes, producing a higher number of defective chips. 

Don’t expect a massive flood of Cannon Lake-based devices in 2018. Production is low volume for now until Intel gets a handle on the 10nm process to produce “acceptable” yields. According to the company’s first-quarter financial results for 2018, Intel shifted its “volume” production of 10nm chips to 2019. Meanwhile, the company will continue to make optimizations to its 14nm process technology. 

Technically, Intel’s Cannon Lake processor is a reduced version (aka, die shrink) of its optimized seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” design but falls within the company’s eighth-generation family of CPUs. Surprisingly, there’s no onboard graphics component, thus laptops will need a discrete graphics chip. The laptop listed in Asia relies on AMD’s Radeon RX 540 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory dedicated to graphics. 

The notebook in question is a refreshed Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15 sporting a 15.6-inch TN screen with a 1,366 x 768 resolution. Backing Intel’s CPU is 4GB of system memory (1x slot supporting up to 8GB), a 500GB hard drive spinning at 5,400RPM, and an optical drive. 

As for other ingredients, the laptop’s port complement includes HDMI, two USB-A ports, one USB-C port, a gigabit Ethernet port, a headphone/microphone combo jack, and an SD card reader. Connectivity consists of Wireless AC networking and a Bluetooth component. All of this relies on a battery promising a mere two to five hours. 

The Cannon Lake-powered device measures 0.90 inches thick and weighs around 5.5 pounds, which isn’t quite the thin-and-light form factor we were expecting. It’s currently listed for around $449 in Asia, but there’s no ship date for the device just yet. 

Intel started 2018 with its third wave of eighth-generation Coffee Lake processors, adding new desktop and laptop variants in April, including Intel’s first six-core Core i9 mobile chip. The next processor launch will still remain under the eighth-generation banner code-named Whiskey Lake. These four-core chips replace the first wave of eighth-generation processors launched in August 2017 and will be followed by desktop CPUs for enthusiasts code-named Cascade Lake-X before the end of the year. 

Given the Core i3-8121U is an eighth-generation chip, the Cannon Lake family should be the last of Intel’s eighth-generation lineup in 2019. They will be succeeded by Intel’s ninth-generation “Ice Lake” 10nm processor lineup. 

Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…
Computing

If Core i5 CPUs are great for most people, do you really need a Core i7?

This guide is designed to help you decide whether you need the extra technological enhancements provided by the i7 core, or if the more affordable Core i5 will suit your needs. In the i5 vs. i7 battle, which is best for you?
Computing

The next Surface Pro could be a complete redesign. Here's what we know so far

The Surface Pro might have pioneered the 2-in-1 form factor, but the design has stayed the same over the last seven years. Here's what we're looking to see from the Surface Pro 7,
Computing

AMD or Intel? We take a look at the pros and cons of both processors

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.
Deals

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.