No, Laptops Using Intel’s Next Budget Processors Do Not Suffer from One Big Flaw

Posted on August 25, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 0 Comments

No, Laptops Using Intel's Next Budget Processors Do Not Suffer from One Big Flaw

In an attempt to counter both the FUD and click-bait nature of a story now making the rounds, let’s set the record straight. No, laptops using Intel’s next budget processors will not suffer from one big flaw.

In truth, there will be absolutely no difference between using a laptop with this next-generation chipset, called “Apollo Lake” and using previous-generation Intel Atom, Celeron, or Pentium-branded processors, for most users with most PCs.

This week’s FUD comes courtesy of Digitimes, which reported that more notebook vendors will adopt on-board memory for Apollo Lake-based models. More than what? More than with previous-generation chipsets, apparently.

For this to be true, many low-end laptops would need to ship with user-serviceable DIMM modules, allowing one to, say, upgrade a 2 GB machine to 4 GB. There’s just one problem. That’s not how the low-end PC market works. Most PCs already use on-board (or at least non-user-serviceable) RAM today.

And not to pick on any publication in particular, but this TechRadar story is notable both for mindlessly aping the Digitimes report and for adding a click-bait headline. Nicely done.

So after speaking to a few people in the industry about this non-story, I took a look at the Microsoft Store selection of PCs to see if I could find any low-end, sub-$500 devices with upgradeable RAM.

I could not. A few offered different configurations, some with more RAM and/or storage. But the storage was always fixed, typically at 2 GB of 4 GB. As you would expect from a low-end PC.

Could there be exceptions? Of course. But the norm is non-upgradeable RAM. It’s been like that for years.

So will laptops using Intel’s next budget processors will suffer from one big flaw? No, they’ll suffer from several. They’re using low-end processors with small amounts of RAM and slow storage. Just like the laptops using Intel’s current budgets processors.


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