2018 is looking like the most exciting year for laptops in a long time. While Intel has almost been the only player in the mobile processor world, that’s going to change significantly with Qualcomm and AMD Rzyen entering the fray.
At the same time I feel as though 2018 could also be the most confusing year for laptops. Qualcomm, Intel Kaby Lake Refresh, Intel CPUs with Vega graphics, and AMD Ryzen will all be powering notebooks next year with varying levels of performances and graphical capability.
For one thing most standard x86 applications on a Snapdragon 835-powered laptop will have to run though a level of emulation to get them to work. We also may well see the option of buying notebooks with either Intel’s standard 8th gen processors, or their gaming-capable CPUs, and those configurations alone could further muddy the waters while buying a laptop.
This past year was one of the busiest years for components, with a seemingly never-ending barrage of new processors and graphics cards, and I can only imagine it’s going to continue into 2018.
AMD Ryzen 2 for desktops is almost guaranteed to make its debut, and Intel would likely respond in kind to with its Ice Lake family of processors.
Nvidia has already begun laying the groundwork with it’s next generation Volta graphics card architecture as well. While we’ve only seen a few enterprise components from the Volta family and the Nvidia Titan V, I expect we’ll see consumer and gaming-focused products before the next holiday season. AMD is also likely to release more Vega graphics cards as well.