ASUS routers have emerged as the target of a nascent botnet called Cyclops Blink, almost a month after it was revealed the malware abused WatchGuard firewall appliances as a stepping stone to gain remote access to breached networks.
According to a new report published by Trend Micro, the botnet's "main purpose is to build an infrastructure for further attacks on high-value targets," given that
Ah, college. A time of true enlightenment. Whether you're just starting out or you're heading into your final year, you're going to need a good laptop for college research and writing papers. But with so many different brands and confusing model numbers out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed.
Don't worry, we're here to help. We've pulled together a robust list of student-friendly laptops for college that we had previously tested and reviewed as part of our ongoing quest to find the best laptops. In other words, the folks over here at PCWorld have personally vetted each and every one of these picks. While most (if not all) of the laptops on this list are fantastic productivity machines, we've also got picks for gamers and macOS users, and options to hit every price point. You may also find some low-cost gems in our roundup of the best laptop deals, which we update daily.
When we think about the best thin-and-light laptop, it's always been a close contest between the Dell XPS 2-in-1 and the HP Spectre x360. This time around, we're giving the luxurious HP Spectre x360 14 some time in the sun, with a nod to the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 9310 that preceded it as our top pick. The Spectre x360 14, now sporting the same Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU available in the Dell XPS line, trades blows with its eternal rival in test after test. It rises to the top because of a few key advantages: It offers longer battery life (thanks to a bigger battery), a far better keyboard, and little things like a USB-A port and a physical webcam shutoff switch, all for a lower price. Well played, HP.
If you're serious about gaming, the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition is one heck of a powerhouse. The review unit we tested had an 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, an AMD Radeon RX 6800M GPU (with 12GB of GDDR6), 16GB of memory, and 512GB of NVMe SSD storage. You can play older titles on high to very-high graphics settings and newer games on medium. There are a few shortcomings, though. Battery life is lackluster and it's pretty darn heavy. That said, poor battery life and a clunky form factor isn't unusual for a gaming laptop, and if you're looking to play some games when you aren't busy working on assignments, this powerhouse offers much more value than most of its rivals.
By naming this Windows tablet the Surface Pro 7+, Microsoft mistakenly implies that it's some sort of minor upgrade from the Surface Pro 7. Nothing could be further from the truth: We rarely see such massive upgrades in CPU and GPU horsepower, as well as battery life. It also offers an LTE option and an absolutely dead-silent, fanless chassis.
You may be wondering why we chose the 7+ and not the Surface Pro 8. While the 8 has a larger screen and good audio, configurations start at $1,099.99 and can go up to over $2,599.99. The 7+'s base configuration starts at $899, which is a more affordable option for college students, and it should still chew through tasks admirably. The base version has an Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of SSD storage.
As a general note, Chromebooks make excellent productivity machines. They're designed for basic tasks like web browsing, typing out papers, and so on. They're also largely virus-free.
Google's Pixelbook Go is a perfectly good Chromebook and that's exactly what the company set out to create. It offers a careful balance of quality features and economical compromises for a reasonable $649 starting price. It's also much better looking than the typical bare-bones model. If you're committed to the Chromebook universe, this is a laptop worth buying.
The LG Gram 17 is a remarkably lightweight business laptop, and one worth considering if your scholarship left you ample room for a luxe laptop purchase. Although relatively big in size dimensions-wise, it somehow weighs just under three pounds. Is it a work of sorcery? No, it's the magnesium chassis that makes it so light. In our review, we liked the bounciness of the keys and the long battery life. The Gram 17 ran out of steam around the 13 hour mark, which is nothing short of impressive. The 17-inch IPS-grade display is stunning, too. With a resolution of 2560×1600, you're bound to get a crisp and vibrant picture. According to our review, the display size is perfect for productivity.
The MacBook Air with the new M1 processor so absolutely and thoroughly trounces the Intel version released earlier this year (with Intel's “Ice Lake” Y-series CPU/GPU) that it defies belief. And, since there's no fan, the Air runs super quiet, which is great in a classroom setting.
Unfortunately, Apple changed practically nothing else about the MacBook Air. This new model is exclusively a processor swap. But what a processor! You can read the full review of the MacBook Air M1 at our sister site, Macworld.
With its affordable price point, decent performance, and robust build, the Acer Aspire 5 is a good budget option for most people. While the color scheme is a little boring, the build is surprisingly rugged. Our tester was surprised by its “solid, durable feel.” The keyboard is nice, too. It has a spacious layout, which is perfect for longer typing sessions. Performance is fast enough for general-use tasks like writing emails and browsing the web, but that's about it. If you're shopping around for a solid everyday laptop that won't break the bank, the Aspire 5 is definitely worth a look.
The Acer Swift 3X is both speedy and lightweight, an ideal choice for the college student who's always on the go. The higher-tier configuration we reviewed has an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, an Intel Iris Xe Max discrete GPU (with 4GB of LPDDR4X memory), 16GB of memory, and 1TB PCIe NVMe of SSD storage. But the real star of the show is its 14-inch 1080p IPS display, which shines at a bright 300 nits, according to our review. We managed to squeeze out 12+ hours of battery life on a single charge, so you can definitely expect this laptop to last through multiple classes.
From stellar performance to the lightweight form factor, the Acer Swift X has a lot to offer. In addition to handling content-creation tasks, it can also run a few lightweight games as well. However, its biggest strength is its battery life. Despite the power-hungry internals, the Swift X's battery lasted more than 12 hours in our tests. Depending on your use, you won't need to go hunting for an outlet all that much. It's perfect for college students.
The HP Envy x360 15 (2021) has an attractive design, decent internals, and a wide selection of ports. The unit we tested came equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage. For ports, you're getting two USB-A, USB-C, HDMI 2.0, and a full-sized SD card slot. In our review, we liked the keyboard quite a bit, saying “the keys give off a satisfying tactile bump and they actuate even if you hit just the corner of a key with your fingernail.” In other words, you don't need to worry much about accidental keypresses.
The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 is affordable and offers good performance for the price. The AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor is fast enough for everyday tasks like web browsing and document editing. It makes a good productivity machine, which is perfect for college. According to our review, the laptop “remained comfortably cool and quiet while juggling multiple apps, browser tabs, and downloads.” It's also pretty versatile in terms of what you can do with it. You can prop it up like a tent and watch movies or flip the screen around and use it like a tablet. Overall, it's a good value. You're getting good performance, punchy audio, and a convertible touchscreen.
The Aspire Vero is affordable and fast enough for general use. The review unit we tested has an Intel Core i7-1195G7 processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of memory, and 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 of SSD storage. While the internals are pretty good. the most unique thing about the Vero is that it's made out of PCR plastic, which makes it one of the few environmentally friendly laptops out there. While we dig how eco-friendly it is, the exterior's got a textured design that takes some getting used to. The keyboard is also springy and the 1080p non-touch display produces crisp images. The one downside is its short battery life. In our review, we managed to eek a measly seven hours out of the three-cell battery.
Ah, folio-style laptops. While some may find them cumbersome to deal with, our reviewer really liked this one. The HP Chromebook x2 11 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy. The tablet's aluminum chassis feels rugged and like it'll last quite a while. The detachable keyboard took some getting used to, but ended up being fine for long typing sessions. The rear plate, which transforms into a kickstand that holds up the tablet, connects to the back of the tablet via magnets. The reviewer found the connection to be both clean and strong. As for the performance, it's about what you'd expect out of a Chromebook. It's zippy enough for everyday tasks like browsing the web and so on.
The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is a good mid-range laptop. It's fast enough for web browsing, editing documents, and so on. That said, it can “feel taxed by demanding tasks.” When our tester opened up multiple tabs, he noticed a sag in performance. The port selection, however, is nice combination of old and new. It has two USB-C ports, a single USB-A port, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, and a microSD card reader. As for the keyboard, our tester liked the “crisp and taut” feel of the keys. Although this laptop is a 2-in-1, it weighs about 3 pounds, which is kind of heavy for a convertible laptop. It may not be the most portable laptop in the world, but at least it has the flexibility to function as a tablet for applications that favor that form factor.
The PCWorld team puts each and every Windows laptop through a series of benchmarks that test GPU and CPU performance, battery life, and so on. The idea is to push the laptop to its limits and then compare it against others we've tested. Chromebooks, on the other hand, go through a series of web-based tests. It wouldn't be fair or possible to run the same kinds of tests on a Chromebook, as they're Chrome OS-based machines. Below, you'll find a breakdown of each test and the reasons why we run them.
PCMark 10: PCMark 10 is how we determine how well the laptop handles lighter tasks like web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, and so on.
HandBrake: HandBrake is more intensive than PCMark 10. It basically measures how long a laptop's CPU takes to encode a beefy 30GB file.
Cinebench: Cinebench is a brief stress test of the CPU cores. It does this by rendering a 2D scene over a short period of time.
3DMark: 3DMark checks if 3D performance remains consistent over time by running graphic-intensive clips.
Video rundown test: To gauge battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 10's Movies & TV app until the laptop dies.
CrXPRT 2: The CrXPRT 2 benchmark tests a Chromebook's battery life.
Speedometer 2.0: This test determines a Chromebook's web browser performance. It simulates this by adding, completing, and removing a to-do list.
Basemark Web 3.0: This benchmark gauges how well a Chromebook can handle web-based applications.
What to look for in a laptop for college
The first thing to consider is budget. How much are you willing to spend on a laptop? If you're working with an inflexible budget, Chromebooks are a good option. They're affordable and designed to handle everyday tasks like writing papers, working on spreadsheets, and so on. Chromebook prices can range anywhere from $200 up to $1,000. If you want to spend a bit more, laptops with convertible touchscreens (otherwise known as 2-in-1s) offer a great deal of functionality. You can flip the screen around and use it like a tablet or prop it up like an easel for watching movies.
If you've got a jam-packed schedule, you'll probably be running from class to class with very little downtime in between. That's why we recommend a laptop with a long-lasting battery. We recommend something that'll last 7 to 10-plus hours on a single charge, unless you want a notebook that can play games on the side—gaming laptops are notorious for their shorter endurance, even during everyday tasks. That 7 to 10 hours is a good figure if you plan on taking your laptop with you everywhere.
Things like navigating your e-mail or watching Netflix will require more RAM. We recommend springing for 8GB of RAM or more. 4GB of RAM is fine and good for web browsing and basic office work, but 8GB is better for having more tabs open and whatnot. Plus, applications like Google Chrome and Spotify tend to eat up a lot of RAM. Most people can get by with 4GB in a pinch if you're on a tight budget, but you won't be able to multitask as much.
The final thing is a decent keyboard. In college, you're going to be spending a lot of time typing. Depending on your personal preference, you may want either a full or short travel keyboard. Mechanical keyboards, for example, normally have longer travel. This helps prevent accidental keystrokes. The keys also give a lot of tactile feedback, as they bounce back after they're pressed down.
By now, a dual-monitor setup has become commonplace. Multitasking on a single screen is just way too confining. But why stop at two displays? I can speak from experience: Having multiple monitors (and I'm talking three, four, five, or even six) is just…awesome, and something you totally need in your life.
Right now, my main PC has a triple-monitor setup: my main 27-inch central monitor, with a 24-inch monitor on either side. I use my extra monitors for a number of things, such as comparing spreadsheets side-by-side, writing articles while also doing research, keeping tabs on my social media feeds, and, of course, watching Netflix.
Using one of your monitors in vertical orientation can make a big difference for scrolling long documents. If you're a gamer, well, surely you can see how great three-plus monitors can be for games that support multi-monitor setups. You can even use your TV as an extra computer monitor!
But before you jump in, you want to give your multi-monitor plan some forethought. This guide will walk you through all the factors you need to take into account before setting up three or more monitors.
Step 1: Check your graphics card(s)
Before you run out and buy a bunch of extra monitors, check to see whether your computer is physically capable of handling all that graphics prowess. First, look at the back of your PC: How many graphics ports (DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA) do you see?
If you don't have a discrete graphics card, you may only see two video ports—most motherboards come with integrated graphics that can only run dual-monitor setups. If you do have a discrete graphics card, you'll probably see at least three ports, not including the ports on your motherboard.
Tip: While it is possible to set up multiple monitors using ports on both your motherboard and your discrete graphics card, you'll see a performance drop and some lag when you move windows between monitors. If you want to do this, you will also need to enter your PC's BIOS and go to Configuration > Video > Integrated graphics device and set it to “Always enable.”
Just because you see three or more ports on your discrete graphics card, however, doesn't necessarily mean you can use all of them at the same time. For example, many older Nvidia cards are unable to run more than two monitors on a single card, even if they have more than two ports. The best way to find out whether your graphics card supports multiple monitors is to find the name of your card (Control Panel > Device Manager > Display Adapters) and Google it with the monitor setup you're looking to run (e.g. “Nvidia GTX 1660 four monitors”).
If your graphics card supports—and has enough ports for—the number of monitors you want to set up, excellent. If not, you may need to purchase an additional graphics card to get the multi-monitor support you're looking for.
Before you buy an extra graphics card, you'll need to make sure you have enough space in your tower (and open PCIe slots), as well as a power supply unit that can handle the extra strain.
If you buy a graphics card solely for the purpose of having multiple monitors, it's best to get a cheaper modern option, as current GPUs can power several displays without issue. Check out the best budget graphics card section of our GPU guide for your best options.
Alternatively, monitors with DisplayPort multi-streaming support can be daisy-chained together from a single DisplayPort connection on your graphics card, using additional DisplayPort cables to connect the additional monitors to one another. The various displays don't even need to be the same size or resolution. ViewSonic's VP2468 is one such example. At around $330 on Amazon, this 24-inch monitor is on the pricier side, but in addition to DisplayPort-out, it also offers a premium IPS screen, and a super-thin bezel, which is ideal for multi-monitor setups.
Once you figure out your graphics card situation, it's time for the fun part: obtaining extra monitors. In general, monitors can be had for fairly cheap these days. Assuming you can't finagle a hand-me-down, a 24-inch monitor with an IPS screen will run you around $150, such as the Acer R240HY. You can get a 24-inch TN screen, which will likely trade strong off-axis viewing for a lower response time—something gamers might prefer—for roughly the same money, such as the Asus VS248H-P ($160 on Amazon). You can also find smaller IPS monitors at around 21.5 inches, such with this HP Pavilion IPS display, for.
Meanwhile, it you're looking for even more screen real estate, you can find a decent 27-inch IPS screen for just a little over $200, such as the $210 ViewSonic VA2759-SMH.
Of course, the perfect monitor for you depends on multiple factors, including the monitors you already have, the size of your desk, and what you're planning on using your extra monitor for. (Of course, resolution is yet another variable, and you can see our article about 1080p vs. 4K monitors to help you make a decision in that area as well.)
In my case, I already had two 24-inch monitors, and I wanted a larger monitor as the centerpiece of my setup, so I picked up a 27-inch monitor and placed it between my two 24-inch displays. I'm not using my multi-monitor setup to play multi-monitor games, so the difference in sizes (and the difference in heights—my 27-inch monitor's stand holds that monitor about one inch higher than my 24-inchers) isn't an issue for me. However, if you're planning on doing a lot of gaming or watching videos that span multiple monitors, this height difference will make for a not-so-seamless experience.
Before you buy your monitors, you'll also want to make sure they have input ports that correspond with your PC's output ports. While you could use conversion cables, such as DVI-to-HDMI or DisplayPort-to-DVI, they can be a hassle. If you have a VGA port on your PC or your monitor, I suggest staying away from it: VGA is an analog connector, which means your picture will be noticeably less sharp and colors will be less vivid.
Step 3: Set up your PC
Set up your monitors, plug them in, and turn on your PC. Voila! A perfectly formed multi-monitor setup! Well, not so fast. Setup is easy, but there are still a couple more steps.
The first thing you'll want to do is configure Windows to play nicely with your multiple monitors. If you're running Windows 7 or Windows 8, right-click on the desktop and click Screen resolution; in Windows 10, click Display settings. This will take you to a screen where you can configure the options you have for multiple monitors in Windows.
Here, you can confirm that all your monitors are detected. Click Identify, which will cause a large number to appear on each of your displays, so you can determine which screen is which. Select the monitor you'd like to serve as your main display (which will also determine where your taskbar and Start button appears). A drop-down menu lets you choose whether to duplicate your desktop or extend your desktop across all the screens. In most multi-monitor setups, you'll want to extend your desktop across all three (or four, or whatever) of your displays.
Alternately, you can set up your multi-monitor configuration in your GPU's control panel. Right-click your desktop and choose either the Nvidia or AMD control panel (depending on your graphics card), and find the Display section, which will offer similar options as Windows.
It's one thing to use multiple monitors to do work and watch Netflix. It's another thing entirely to use multiple monitors to play video games. If you want to use your snazzy new multi-monitor setup to do some three- or four-panel gaming, there are a few extra things you'll have to take into consideration.
Gaming on several displays at once requires far more graphical firepower than gaming on a single screen alone, because the GPU has so many more pixels to push—so if you're not running a sufficiently robust graphics card or cards, you'll almost certainly see lag and artifacting in your multi-monitor games. Once again, check out PCWorld's guide for choosing the best graphics card for gaming.
Before you can start playing your games across multiple panels, you'll need to set up your graphics card and your game. Nvidia users will need to set up Nvidia Surround, while AMD users will need to create an Eyefinity group for their monitors.
You'll also need to go into your game—not all games are multi-monitor compatible—and configure the video or display settings to the correct resolution so that the game spans across all of your monitors instead of staying squished on just one. You'll also want to play around with other settings as the game allows, including field of view (too low, and there will be too much going on around you; too high and everything on your left and right screens will be hugely distorted).
For gaming, it's easier if you have multiple identical displays, because otherwise you'll run into issues with resolution, distortion (if your displays aren't at the same height), and color calibration, all of which can be difficult to work with if you're trying to play in a “seamless” environment.
If working with multiple displays seems like more trouble than you want to bother with for gaming, maybe you'd be better off with a single ultrawide monitor. Check out our article on the pros and cons of dual displays versus a single ultrawide.
AMD's FreeSync and Nvidia's G-Sync are must-have features for PC enthusiasts. Each syncs the refresh rate of compatible displays with your graphics card‘s frame rate, providing perfectly smooth motion in most situations. The tech has even come to televisions like (most of) LG's OLED line.
In most cases, PC enthusiasts use FreeSync and G-Sync over a traditional video connection like DisplayPort or HDMI. But what about USB-C? The USB standard is capable of carrying video to a display, and USB-C hub monitors are now a great alternative to a display paired with an external dock or hub. Is USB-C compatible with FreeSync and G-Sync?
The short answer? Yes, USB-C is compatible with AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. As is often true with USB, though, there's more to it than that.
There's a basic feature required for FreeSync, G-Sync, and other Adaptive Sync standards to work over USB-C. It's called DisplayPort Alternate Mode.
USB-C devices that carry video do it with DisplayPort Alternate Mode. This carries a DisplayPort video signal over USB and works like any other DisplayPort connection. It adheres to the same standards and offers the same features.
The monitor that you use and the device you connect to it must have a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alternate Mode. This is worth checking, as some laptops and monitors include USB-C ports without this feature. No DisplayPort Alternate Mode means no video over USB-C which, of course, means no Freesync or G-Sync.
Does AMD FreeSync work over USB-C?
Yes, AMD FreeSync will work over USB-C.
AMD FreeSync is basically VESA Adaptive Sync by another name, and Adaptive Sync is an optional part of the DisplayPort standard. That means a FreeSync display with a USB-C port that has DisplayPort Alternate Mode can easily support FreeSync over USB-C.
The benefit of FreeSync is its broad compatibility. FreeSync's tie to Adaptive Sync means you'll find it supported on hundreds of monitors, including inexpensive displays meant for office use rather than entertainment.
Yes, Nvidia G-Sync will work over USB-C – though there's a couple extra details to consider.
Not all versions of G-Sync are the same. G-Sync Ultimate and G-Sync displays have an additional proprietary module inside the display that syncs with an Nvidia graphics solution.
These G-Sync displays require DisplayPort, and since USB-C sends video over DisplayPort, G-Sync Ultimate and G-Sync should be compatible. But there's a catch: right now, G-Sync Ultimate and G-Sync displays are not shipping with USB-C.
G-Sync Compatible, the more recent and by far most common form of G-Sync, is different. Like AMD FreeSync, G-Sync Compatible piggybacks on the Adaptive Sync specification. A handful of G-Sync Compatible monitors, like the Gigabyte M32U, have USB-C and DisplayPort Alternate Mode. These should support G-Sync over USB-C without issue.
Nvidia doesn't offer USB-C in its current graphics card line. The GeForce RTX 20-series had USB-C, but Nvidia took a step back from the feature for the 30-series.
Unfortunately, the feature didn't work when I put it to the test. I tried a Samsung Galaxy Book 360 laptop, which supports Intel Adaptive Sync, with Dell's S2722QC monitor, which supports AMD FreeSync. Intel's Adaptive Sync appeared active in Intel's Graphics Command Center, but Adaptive Sync didn't work. The same monitor worked perfectly with an AMD-powered Lenovo ThinkPad E545 laptop.
I reached out to Intel about this issue and will update if the company provides a response. Update: An Intel representative replied to a request for comment by verifying that “Intel Adaptive Sync is supported for displays connected over Type-C and Thunderbolt using DisplayPort Alternate Mode or DisplayPort tunneled mode.” Intel graphics solutions that support Adaptive Sync should work with displays that support Adaptive Sync when connected over USB-C or Thunderbolt.
Why isn't USB-C more common?
The technical foundation of USB-C's DisplayPort Alternate Mode can handle AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync, but you may have a hard time finding a USB-C monitor with official support.
Why? It comes down to marketing.
PC gamers, the group that cares most about Adaptive Sync, tends to stick with standard, full-size DisplayPort. Most desktop graphics cards don't even have USB-C.
Productivity monitors often have USB-C because it can turn a monitor into an all-in-one hub for USB, display, and Ethernet. Those shopping for such a monitor often don't care about FreeSync or G-Sync, though, so productivity monitors don't always bother with support.
This is changing. Adaptive Sync is not difficult to implement, so more and more monitors are adding support. For now, however, you'll have to keep a close eye on the specifications.
Bringing it all together
Still a bit confused?
Here's the basics. You need allof the following to use FreeSync or G-Sync over USB-C.
A PC with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alternate Mode and graphics hardware that supports FreeSync and/or G-Sync.
A USB-C cable that can handle DisplayPort Alternate Mode.
A display with a USB-C port that has DisplayPort Alternate Mode and support for FreeSync and/or G-Sync.
I'd also recommend sticking to a direct connection between your PC and the display. That means no splitters, hubs, or adapters.
Editor's note: This article originally published on March 1, 2022, but was updated to include comment from Intel.
Intel launched its 12th-gen mobile and desktop Core processors for businesses today—Alder Lake processors with included vPro technology. And, in the way it continues to segment its processor lineup, Intel has added two new categories of its vPro technologies: vPro Essentials for small businesses, and vPro Enterprise for Chrome devices.
Intel expects its customers to ship 150 commercial designs or more using the new vPro chips, from Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Panasonic.
Intel's new Alder Lake vPro chip follows the 11th-gen Tiger Lake mobile vPro chips Intel announced a year ago, which introduced Intel's premium brand to the vPro product lineup. In Tiger Lake, Intel added what is called Intel Control Flow Enforcement Technology (CET) and Intel Threat Detection (TDT) to Hardware Shield, which protects against attacks to the PC's firmware. In Alder Lake, Intel has added additional protections to Hardware Shield, defending against ransomware, cryptomining and supply-chain attacks. Those also include extending CET to desktop processors, Intel said.
Specifically, the new technology involves anomalous-behavior detection, according to Stephanie Hallford, vice president and general manager of Intel's Client Computing Group's business client platforms, which scans for both “good” and “bad” app behavior. The technology is designed to block “living off the land” attacks, a file-less malware attack that simply injects bad code into existing, legitimate software, which then executes attacks against the system.
The new 12th-gen Alder Lake chips also include what Intel calls Total Memory Encryption Multi-Key (TME-MK) and Intel Virtualization Technology with Redirect Protection (VT-rp), which provides hardware support for new virtualization capabilities that Microsoft plans to add in a future OS release, Intel said.
Intel didn't provide a comprehensive list of the differences between vPro Enterprise and VPro Essentials, but a white paper identified both VT-rp as well as Intel Active Management remote maintenance and control as two features that vPro Essentials doesn't support. Intel Key Locker, “used in select Chrome devices to help protect keys used by AES-NI encryption,” is also specific to the vPro Enterprise for Chrome technologies.
Intel 12th-gen vPro platforms will include ECC versions of DDR5 and LPDDR5 memory, support for Wi-Fi 6E, wired 2.5Gbps Ethernet, and Thunderbolt 4, Intel said.
Naturally, Intel touted the performance improvements that the new chips offered both on mobile as well as desktop, claiming that its mobile Core i7-1280P processor is 27 percent faster on the CrossMark benchmark than its 11th-gen Core chip and 41 percent faster than the Ryzen 7 Pro 5850U.
It’ll be a while longer before we see stores shelves and online product pages populated with highly sought after graphics cards, but there is definitive evidence that things are improving. From online retailers to physical stores, Nvidia’s RTX 30 Series graphics cards finally appear to exist in limited degrees of availability. And we’re not talking about the grossly marked-up scalper prices, we’re talking about actual retail list prices, or at least near enough to them.
Recent searches on Newegg and visits to local Micro Centers turned up surprising results. For Newegg, we found both the ASUS RTX 3070 Ti TUF and the Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Aorus at prices just north of what the AIBs typically charge for the respective models. While admittedly far from Nvidia’s alleged $600 USD MSRP, it’s still a positive sign of changing market conditions. Look elsewhere, and you’ll quickly discover that these prices are well below what other sellers try to cha...