When Intel announced its 11th Gen "Tiger Lake" processors, it also made significant changes to Project Athena, adding more stringent testing and introducing a consumer facing brand name, Intel Evo.
Previously, Project Athena laptops were listed online with a small badge that read "Engineered for Mobile Performance." But there was no true listing of what that meant for people actually buying laptops. The Intel Evo badge is meant to serve as a name that potential buyers can recognize as the best laptops for productivity.
Evo badges will be on laptops with 11th Gen Core i5 and Core i7 processors and Iris Xe graphics.
Similar to the first generation Project Athena, Intel is using "key experience indicators," that laptops must pass. These include:
- 9 or more hours of real-world battery life on systems with 1080p displays, with 8 hours for QHD and 7 hours for UHD.
- System must wake from sleep in less than 1 second
- Consistent responsiveness on battery
- Fast charging with up to 4-hour charge in under 30 minutes on systems with 1080p displays
Intel is testing battery life by taking it from 100% to the critical battery level with what it calls a "typical-use environment." That includes cloud-based apps, local apps and web pages, including Chrome, Office 365, Zoom and YouTube, on Windows 10 devices with 250-nit screen brightness over Wi-Fi.
Intel Evo laptops will also have Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6 and "premium audio, webcam and display" in thin form factors, but Intel hasn't specified the requirements there. The company also hasn't listed what 4K measurements might look like.
Evo-verified designs will come with their own badge, listing it as an Evo model and including if it's a Core i5, i7, etc.
Currently announced designs that have been verified include the Acer Swift 5, Asus Zenbook Flip S, Lenovo Yoga 9i and Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 5G. The company's website lists Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, Razer, Samsung, HP, Lenovo, LG and MSI as partners in the program, so we're likely to see more Evo verified designs soon.
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Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE