Thursday, September 21, 2023

Intel processor replaces Pentium and Celeron in 2023 laptops

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An Intel logo surrounded by processors
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Intel is replacing the Pentium and Celeron brands with just an Intel processor. The new branding will replace both existing brands of notebooks in 2023 and supposedly make it easier when consumers want to buy cheap laptops.

Intel will now focus on its Core, Evo and vPro brands for its flagship products and use Intel Processor in what it calls “essential” products. “Intel is committed to driving innovation for the benefit of users, and our entry-level processor families have been pivotal in raising the PC standard across price ranges,” explains Josh Newman, VP and Interim General Manager of Mobile Client Platforms at Intel. “The new brand name for Intel processors will simplify our offering so that users can focus on choosing the right processor for their needs.”

The end of the Pentium brand comes after almost 30 years of use. Originally introduced in 1993, the flagship Pentium chips were first introduced in high-end desktop machines before making the transition to laptops. Intel has largely used its Core branding for its flagship line of processors since its introduction in 2006, and Intel has instead repurposed the Pentium branding for midrange processors.

Intel processor replaces Pentium and Celeron branding
Image: Intel
Intel’s new simplified branding.

Celeron was Intel’s brand name for low-cost PCs. Celeron chips, launched about five years after Pentium, have always delivered much less performance at a much lower cost to laptop manufacturers and ultimately to consumers. The first Celeron chip in 1998 was based on a Pentium II processor, and the latest Celeron processors are largely used in Chromebooks and cheap laptops.

Intel’s move to simplify to only Intel processors means that multiple processor families will now be brought together under one brand. How Intel plans to go about educating consumers about what’s mid-range and what’s cheap isn’t entirely clear. Anyway, the cheap chips from Celeron and Pentium have certainly built up enough negative associations in recent years as PC makers increasingly focus on Chromebooks and cheap devices where the chips sometimes can’t keep up.

Intel says the brand change will not affect the company’s current product offerings or roadmap, and will continue to deliver “the same products and benefits across segments.”

Intel’s rebranding comes just weeks before the company introduces its flagship 13th-generation desktop processors. Intel accidentally unveiled specifications for some of its 13th-generation chips earlier this week after promising that at least one in stock will run at 6GHz.

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