Apple’s laptop domination could be about to change – following major Intel reveal

Intel's Lunar Lake could bring MacBook-rivalling battery life to portable Windows laptops in late 2024

Acer Swift AI (with Intel Lunar Lake)
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
Quick Summary

Intel's Lunar Lake chipset will launch late 2024, bringing efficiency improvements for significant battery life gains. As a result, this could be the year that Windows laptops bring Apple MacBook-rivalling longevity. 

More than any year before it, 2024 is shaping up to be a renaissance period for the best laptops – maybe you prefer to call them notebooks – as a broader range of companies reveal new chipsets with efficiency and artificial intelligence (AI) at their forefront. It's not only Apple's M-series catching all the attention. 

Of those, Intel has just revealed a major new announcement that could see the chip-maker delivering Apple MacBook-rivalling Windows laptops when it comes to battery life. It's also the company's response to Qualcomm's Elite X platform imminently going on sale – with hardware expected from the middle of this month.

That's because Intel's latest chipset – codenamed Lunar Lake, which will appear in late 2024 as the power-efficient version of Intel Core Ultra chip options – uses around 40% less power than its current-gen (Meteor Lake) chips. But it's still just as capable (or even more so) when it needs to be. 

Intel Lunar Lake

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

I attended the Intel Tech Tour, which happened ahead of Computex 2024 kicking off proper in Taipei, and the chip-maker gave its attendees a very – and I mean very – thorough deep-dive into the makeup of Lunar Lake chips. It was a thoroughly educational showcase to help understand exactly what's going on behind the scenes of some of 2024's future best lightweight laptops.

How is that 40% power reduction achieved? Intel's chip architecture divides four performance ('P') and four efficiency ('E') cores, while integrating RAM onto the chip itself – 16GB minimum to leverage the artificial intelligence (AI) potential, Intel tells me – to further save power. The E cores will be the go-to in many cases, with the P cores able to be switched off dynamically for power savings. 

All of which means greater longevity potential. There aren't Lunar Lake chips out just yet – although I did see Acer's Swift AI laptop in operation at a Computex pre-show reveal – but Intel did show me some real-world comparisons during a YouTube playback session, showing massive power savings. I like the potential of where this is going.

Acer Swift AI (with Intel Lunar Lake)

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Artificial intelligence is becoming a major new aspect of chipset design, too, with Lunar Lake incorporating a neural processing unit (NPU) that's up to four times more powerful than before. Add new integrated Intel Xe2 graphics, with an up to 50% generation-on-generation boost for GPU, and Lunar Lake looks to be a strong contender. 

It's not only Intel pursuing AI success, of course, with Microsoft's Copilot+ PCs also making a splash announcement in recent weeks. But Copilot+'s AI system has to be powered by something – after all, Microsoft doesn't make its own silicon – and that's where Intel is looking to take the lead against its AMD and new Qualcomm competition. 

All of which sounds very exciting for me and you: the consumers. And while you might not care too much about the ins and outs of how your laptop is doing what it's doing, you will care about the gains. And if Lunar Lake means battery life in future Windows laptops then Apple's current grip on the best battery-life laptops may be about to change...

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.