Intel Lunar Lake CPUs could be revolutionary for thin-and-light laptops – but good luck buying one when they launch

An Intel mobile CPU
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel’s Lunar Lake processors for laptops might be launching later this year (if the rumor mill is right), but don’t expect them to be in many notebooks until 2025 rolls around.

This is the latest nugget of gossip from one of the regular hardware leakers out there, namely Golden Pig Upgrade on Weibo (as flagged by Wccftech).

Golden Pig Upgrade observed that with Lunar Lake – mobile CPUs that’ll major in being extremely power-efficient, making them ideal for the best thin-and-light laptopsIntel is rushing the silicon to market this year, but it won’t hit volume production until 2025.

What this means is that while Lunar Lake CPUs should be in some laptops later in 2024 (as previously rumored), it won’t be until next year that we see a meaningful amount of these notebooks sitting on shelves.

As Golden Pig Upgrade noted, the launch will be very much like Meteor Lake, which was officially released in December 2023, but wider availability didn’t happen until, well, this month. Although even now, Raptor Lake Refresh (and Raptor Lake) chips are still the most commonly seen Intel silicon in new laptops.

Analysis: EEP! Once again…

With all that digested, it’s worth bearing in mind that the leaker also said that Lunar Lake will be a bit ahead of Meteor Lake in terms of its EEP (Early Enablement Program) kicking off. That’s the scheme whereby certain laptop makers get access to the limited amount of Lunar Lake CPUs early on, and those are the portables you’ll be able to purchase initially.

So, these will arrive in a slightly timelier manner than Meteor Lake, we’re told – take all this as the speculation it is, of course – but a larger volume of Lunar Lake laptops will not be around until 2025 rolls into town.

This is a perfectly believable scenario, of course, because as mentioned, that’s exactly what just happened with Meteor Lake. And it certainly isn’t uncommon for mobile CPUs to trickle out in this way, given that they’re supplied to laptop makers, not directly to consumers like desktop processors.

The upshot is Lunar Lake-powered ultrathin laptops probably won’t pitch up in numbers until Arrow Lake notebooks are also around in quantity, in early 2025.

While Lunar Lake is expected to cover thin-and-light premium territory (offering some impressive tricks and benefits), Arrow Lake will provide beefy (more power-hungry) silicon (HX and H series) for the likes of the best gaming laptops. However, Arrow Lake will also sport low-power CPUs (U series) to sit under Lunar Lake, offering options for more affordable laptops – or that’s what previous leaks have suggested, anyway.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).