Lenovo's Latest Laptops Tap Intel's Meteor Lake CPUs To Drive New AI Experiences On PC

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As you may have heard, today is launch day for Intel's Core Ultra processors, likely better known by their codename, Meteor Lake. These parts are not only Intel's first disaggregated design, but also the company's first CPUs to include a bespoke Neural Processing Unit (NPU) designed to accelerate AI processing. Naturally, Lenovo is updating its flagship products along with this launch, including new ThinkPads, a new IdeaPad, and alongside, a fascinating 3D monitor.

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Top/Above: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12

First up, the ThinkPad X1 updates, for both Carbon Gen 12 and the X1 2-in-1. At the top of the new features list is obviously the Core Ultra's aforementioned NPU. This offers acceleration for a fair few new pieces of software, including AI-powered filters in Adobe applications, real-time video effects for Zoom and Teams, and of course Microsoft's Windows Copilot that can help by summarizing web pages, automating e-mail composition, and more.

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Showcasing the I/O on the ThinkPad Carbon X1

Those capabilities will be available on any Core Ultra system, though. The new stuff unique to the ThinkPad X1 systems are upgrades to the thermal dissipation and power management functions, as well as new computer vision features in Lenovo Commercial Vantage, the OEM's rapid deployment suite. Those features include AI-powered wake-on-approach with face sensing as well as adaptive dimming on both internal and external monitors.

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 2-in-1 Gen 9

The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 2-in-1 will offer Core Ultra processors up to the Core Ultra 9 with a maximum of 64GB of non-removable LPDDR5X memory and up to 2TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage. Graphics will be provided by the powerful Intel Arc GPU built into the Core Ultra processors, and they'll be hooked up to 14" OLEDs in 2880×1800 resolution that refresh at 120Hz, have HDR500 TrueBlack certification, and notably, occupy very nearly the entire area of the lid, with extremely narrow bezels all around.

Despite its svelte dimensions—it's just 14.96mm or 0.57 inches thick—the X1 Carbon Gen 12 will pack in the same 57-Whr battery that you get with the slightly-thicker X1 2-in-1. Naturally, the latest Wi-Fi 7 2x2, Bluetooth 5.3, and 4G or 5G cellular connectivity are all available options for the machines. You also get an 8-MP built-in camera with a physical privacy shutter. For external connectivity, you get a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports, a pair of 5Gbps USB-A ports, an HDMI 2.1 connection, and thankfully, a 3.5mm audio jack.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Pro 5i Gen9

If the premium ThinkPad line is too rich for your blood, Lenovo's still got you covered. It's creator-focused IdeaPad Pro 5i Gen 9 models come with your choice of a 14-inch 2880×1800 OLED with a 120Hz refresh rate and 100% DCI-P3 coverage or a 16-inch 2048×1280 OLED with otherwise the same specifications. The 16-inch model can opt instead for a 2560×1600 IPS that keeps the 120-Hz refresh rate but doesn't have the same color reproduction.

Either IdeaPad can be had with the fastest Core Ultra 9 CPUs paired with up to 32GB of fixed LPDDR5X memory and up to 1TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage; there's a second M.2 slot for extra storage expansion. Graphics can be handled by either the integrated Intel Arc solution or a discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 with its own 6GB of GDDR6 video RAM and a 115-watt TDP.

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Showcasing the Lenovo IdeaPad Pro 5i Gen 9's I/O

The biggest downgrades from the ThinkPad X1 line are arguably in the camera (which is limited to FHD resolution) and the external connectivity, where you only get one Thunderbolt 4 port. You still get two Type-C connections, though; the second one is limited to USB 3.2 Gen 1. Otherwise, you still get the pair of USB Type-A ports, the HDMI 2.1 connection, and the 3.5mm audio jack, but you also get a built-in SD Card reader.

Wireless connectivity on the IdeaPad Pro 5i Gen 9 is current-generation Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. However, the IdeaPad Pro 5i Gen 9 models apparently both come with a massive 84-WHr polymer battery that should offer excellent battery life given the power efficiency of Intel's Core Ultra processors, especially on the 14-inch OLED model. They also support Thunderbolt 4 with Rapid Charge Express, although Lenovo doesn't say how rapid, exactly.

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Lenovo ThinkVision 27 3D

Lenovo's also showing off its new 3D monitor. The ThinkVision 27 3D is a glasses-free 3D monitor that Lenovo says can provide "a true interdimensional hybrid design experience." The company says that users can now "design in 2D and visualize in 3D" thanks to real-time AI-powered 2D to 3D image, video, and content conversion. The 3D illusion is created by lenticular lenses that apparently use eye-tracking to improve the quality of the 3D effect.

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I/O and controls for the Lenovo ThinkVision 27 3D.

Strictly speaking, the ThinkVision 27 3D isn't actually brand new; the company first showed it back in September. However, it could make a great companion for one of the above new laptops. It makes use of an IPS LCD in 3840×2160 resolution, although the resolution drops to 1920×2160 in 3D mode as it has to render the image twice, once for each eye. Lenovo puts it down for 99% of the DCI-P3 color space, and says that the factory calibration results in a delta-E value of less than 1, which is quite impressive.

If you're keen to get your hands on some of this new Lenovo loot, you may not have to wait at all. The IdeaPad Pro 5i models are available now, starting at $1,149.99. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12 will release to retail this month starting at $2,989, although Lenovo says quantities and configurations will be limited. The rest of the goods are coming next year, with the ThinkVision 27 3D monitor coming around in February for a cool $2,999, and the ThinkPad X1 2-in-1 rolling about a month later in March for a starting price of $2,639.