Intel's NUC program now encompasses laptops. The NUC M15 Laptop Kit formerly codenamed Bishop County, is a whitebox laptop aimed at manufacturers that want to easily sell a notebook to customers without sinking too much cash into research and development.
Intel won't be selling these notebooks directly, but will be backing the two-year warranty.
In Ark, Intel lists two configurations: an entry-level model with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, 8GB of RAM, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 and room for one m.2 NVMe SSD; and a higher end version with an Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16GB of RAM, and the same Wi-Fi and SSD slot. It seems it will be up to the final seller to determine how much storage (and which SSDs) are added.
It sounds that these are automatically Evo certified, but Intel wrote that "[u]ltimately, the Intel Evo platform brand is earned by each channel partner, but the M15 Laptop Kit offers the right foundation to build an Intel E[vo]-qualified laptop."
The laptop has a 15.6-inch display, is 0.6 inches thick and weighs under 3.8 pounds (1.7 kg). The company claims that the 73 Whr battery will provide 16 hours of video playback. The ports include USB Type-A, Thunderbolt 4 and a headphone jack.
Intel hasn't said anything about pricing. That is likely up to the vendors that sell the systems under their own names. We've already heard from Schenker that its Vision 15 will use this device.
While it's the first to be a NUC, it's not the first time Intel has made a whitebox laptop. For instance, we reviewed the XPG Xenia 15 earlier this year based on Intel's reference design based on the TongFang QC7.
But this may be an effort on Intel's part to let smaller vendors like XPG, Schenker, and Maingear take on big OEMs like HP, Asus, Dell and Acer in the market, so we'll be interested to see not only how it performs, but also how the M15 is marketed.