As expected, Intel’s formal announcement of its seventh-generation ‘Kaby Lake’ Intel Core processors at CES in Las Vegas has set the tone for this year’s generation of high-end laptops. The new Core chips join the Y- and U-Series processors announced in Autumn last year. 2017 will be the year of Kaby Lake.
The biggest selling range of laptops last year was Apple’s MacBook Pro range. Having gone years without a significant update, Apple heavily pushed the new laptops as being packed with cutting edge technology, new ideas, and sitting at the very peak of performance.
Unfortunately they all shipped with Intel’s sixth-generation Core processors, so this week’s news bursts Apple’s cutting-edge marketing bubble quickly and cleanly. In Apple’s defence, there are advantages with using the final iteration of a previous generation of technology.
Engineers will have a far better understanding of the architecture and how to maximise performance, the fractional gains that the operating system can make in every area will be maximised, manufacturing issues have been overcome, and there is a significant economy of scale in production of the chips.
The choice was to either delay the launch for around six months to have access to enough components, or push ahead with a sixth-generation laptop for Q4 2016 and have an attractive ‘this is why you should upgrade’ bullet point in Q4 2017.