Laptops and Ultrabooks powered by the latest Intel Arc Alchemist A-series GPUs are finally hitting the market, but the prices are surprisingly high. The first two laptops to arrive are from Asus and HP on Best Buy and are powered by Intel’s entry-level A370M GPU. However, prices start at $1400 for the Asus model, with the HP model costing a whopping $2000.
The $1,400 Ultrabook comes as an Asus Zenbook Flip 2-in-1 device, which features a 12-core Intel Core i7-12700H processor, 16GB of LPDDR5 memory, a 1TB SSD and much more. sure Intel’s A370M mobile GPU. The laptop is built on a 15.6-inch form factor with a 2880×1620 touchscreen, and it features a 360-degree hinge to operate the laptop in tablet form.
For $2000, HP is also offering a 2-in-1 device powered by the same A370M GPU. Known as the Spectre, it has a Core i7-1260P with 12 cores, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of solid-state storage. The Specter comes in a 16-inch form factor running on a higher resolution 8:5 aspect ratio 3840×2400 display. Like the Zenbook, this notebook can be used as a tablet when needed.
Both laptops are also built on Intel’s Evo platform, which means they both come with the latest connectivity standards, including WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt 4. Evo also requires other features such as a minimum autonomy of 9 hours and an instantaneous exit from standby.
These exorbitant prices are not out of the ordinary for thin and light Evo devices. As you head into this territory, prices often skyrocket to compensate. This is especially true for 2-in-1 devices that require clever engineering for the user to use them as a laptop or tablet.
Feature-wise, the price might be justifiable, but these are incredibly expensive laptops from a gaming perspective. For $1400 and $2000 you can buy a well-equipped RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 gaming laptop with a similar form factor. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a good example, coming in at just $1561 on Newegg with robust specs including an RTX 3060 and Ryzen 9 5900HS processor, while being lighter than the Asus Zenbook and HP Spectre.
The $1,400 and $2,000 proposition is further compounded by the fact that Intel’s Arc A370M is hardly a fast GPU by today’s standards. According to AMD, its own entry-level RX 6500M can be between 27 and 114 percent faster than the A370M.
That puts the A370M miles below any mid-range GPU from AMD or Nvidia, like the RX 6600M or RTX 3060. Hopefully, we’ll see cheaper gaming-focused laptops in the future. powered by Intel’s Arc GPUs, and possibly the Arc 500 and 700. -stock parts will actually deliver decent performance. For now, if you’re buying a gaming laptop, we’d avoid these thin and light devices, although Best Buy seems to think the A370M provides a “top-of-the-line” graphics solution.