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Business News/ Technology / Gadgets/  AI laptops: What they are, how they work, and which ones to buy

AI laptops: What they are, how they work, and which ones to buy

Discover AI laptops, their functionality, and top recommendations for purchase, exploring their capabilities and performance to make an informed decision on the best option for you.

AI laptops are designed to leverage smart capabilities for a faster and more automated computing experience.Premium
AI laptops are designed to leverage smart capabilities for a faster and more automated computing experience.

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are poised to become smarter with better datasets that are fed to them and their wide availability across the internet. While our primary understanding of generative AI may be currently limited to famous services such as ChatGPT, Dall-e, and Gemini, there's constantly a lot of buzz in the world of AI.

While it's fun to log onto your favourite AI website and throw prompts at it for quick content generation across diverse needs, that's just a glimpse of what powerful AI tools can achieve if used optimally. The next bet tech giants are placing on is not just generative AI tools, but imbibing various AI tools into their products from the get-go. This means that AI-centric smartphones and laptops are quickly emerging in the market.

For instance, on May 20, 2024, Microsoft announced its ambition for AI PCs called “CoPilot+ PC," supported by a dedicated neural processor to make it fast. However, such laptops will have specific requirements that would need to be met, such as a minimum 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD storage, and access to a range of data permissions. However, with the quick development of such laptops, we can expect to enjoy quicker processing and faster access to your personal data through AI, for it does one thing really well - remembering! In this article, we'll discuss what AI laptops are, how they work, and our top picks of AI laptops that are currently available in this nascent market.

What are AI laptops?

Artificial intelligence (AI) laptops are portable computers that are loaded with hardware and software specifically designed to optimise and accelerate AI tasks. What are these tasks, you wonder? They can range from simple machine learning (ML) algorithms to advanced neural networks and deep learning models.

An AI PC or a laptop runs on a series of components that make it smarter than traditional laptops. For starters, it comes with a central processing unit (CPU), a graphic processing unit (GPU), and also a neural processing unit (NPU) - each of which come with their own AI capabilities.

The latest addition to PCs and laptops would be an NPU, a specialised accelerator that's designed to efficiently handle AI and machine (ML) tasks natively on your laptop or PC instead of making it happen via cloud processing. Fascinating, right? This means that instead of being a tool that you must access separately via the internet on your laptop, AI would be the driving force for all tasks that are achieved on the laptop.

Currently, there are a handful of AI laptops you can find in the market. However, they lack the full-blown integration that you'd expect for an AI-first laptop.

Also read: Convertible laptops: What they are, who they're for, and which ones to buy

Who are AI laptops for?

Unlike traditional laptops, AI laptops are built keeping in mind the intensive computational demands of AI, making them ideal for developers, data scientists, researchers, and enthusiasts who work with AI applications.

Also read: Definitive buyer’s guide to Intel Core Ultra laptops for unmatched computing

What can AI laptops be used for?

AI laptops are considered extremely versatile and may be used for a wide range of applications such as machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing. Developers, data scientists, and researchers can use AI laptops to train and deploy AI models for various purposes. These include image and speech recognition, recommendation systems, and autonomous vehicles.

Such intelligent laptops can be extremely useful in data analysis, pattern recognition, and predictive analytics. In addition, AI laptops may be used across industries such as healthcare, finance, cyber-security, and gaming. Such tools hold the key to automate tasks, improve decision-making, and improve overall efficiency.

What are the essential components of AI laptops?

  • GPU (Graphics Processing Unit): High-end AI laptops come with powerful GPUs, which are considered crucial for handling complex computations required by AI algorithms. In India, NVIDIA’s RTX series or AMD’s Radeon series are commonly found in AI laptops.
  • CPU (Central Processing Unit): Which CPU is considered essential for general AI computing tasks? At least a multi-core CPU, especially if the data flow needs to be managed between the GPU, memory, and storage. Intel and AMD CPUs are popular choices in the Indian market.
  • RAM (Random Access Memory): AI tasks require large datasets to be processed at the same time which means more computing power requirements. Therefore, AI laptops usually come with a minimum of 16 GB RAM, but for heavier tasks, 32 GB or more is advised.
  • Storage: Fast and ample storage, usually in the form of SSDs (Solid State Drives), is necessary for quickly loading large datasets and models. This is especially important for users in India dealing with extensive data.
  • AI accelerators: Some AI laptops may include dedicated AI accelerators like Google's Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) or Intel’s upcoming Lunar Lake processors, which are designed especially for AI tasks.
  • Software frameworks: With AI laptops, you also get pre-installed AI and ML frameworks such as TensorFlow, PyTorch, and Keras, along with the necessary libraries and tools.

Also read: MacBook Air and the top 3 alternatives that can match its smooth functionality and come at a more cost-effective price

How do AI laptops work?

AI laptops operate by taking advantage of their high-performance hardware and optimised software to efficiently take on AI computations. Check out a detailed look at these components come together for a truly AI-first experience.

  • Data Ingestion and pre-processing: Training is central to all AI tools, but before an AI model can be trained, data needs to be ingested and pre-processed. These primary tasks are handled by the CPU and RAM. Essentially what happens is that data is loaded from the storage, cleaned, and changed into a format that works for training.
  • Model training: This is where the GPUs play the primary role. The most intrinsic part of all AI processing is how they undertake parallel processing. GPU makes room for faster processing training times compared to CPUs. With the power of GPUs, deep learning models can benefit greatly.
  • Inference: Training is not the end of it all! In fact, once a model is trained, it is used for inference, wherein the model is able to make predictions based on new data. This task can be done on both the CPU and GPU, but the latter can significantly speed up the process.
  • Real-time AI processing: Who doesn't want real-time AI processing on their laptops? For tasks such as video analysis or interactive AI, the GPU’s capabilities are crucial. Dedicated AI laptops can perform these tasks without latency.

Also read: Best external monitors for laptops: Top 9 options to consider for smooth multitasking

Which AI laptops can you currently buy?

Now that we've discussed what AI laptops are, their basic components, and how they work, it's time to find the right AI laptop for your needs. Fortunately, you have us! We've picked out the best five options of AI laptops that you can currently purchase in India.

1. Acer Swift Go 14 AI Laptop

The Acer Swift Go 14 AI PC is a premium laptop that's designed to impress. With this laptop, you get the Intel Core Ultra 5 125H processor and a stunning 14-inch OLED WQXGA+ display. In addition, it weighs just 1.3 kg, making it a highly portable yet powerful laptop that also features 16GB LPDDR5x RAM and a 512GB SSD. In addition, the Intel Arc Graphics mean business when it comes to smooth visuals. You also get the promise of privacy with the 1440p camera with a shutter. This laptop runs on Windows 11 and comes bundled with MS Office in a beautiful Pure Silver colour.

2. MSI Cyborg 15 AI Laptop

The MSI Cyborg 15 AI is a powerhouse. Why do we say that? This AI laptop features the Intel Core Ultra 5 125H processor that stands out in the gaming laptop market owing to its capabilities that are clubbed with built-in AI tools on this laptop. In addition, you get 16GB RAM, and a 1TB NVMe SSD for impressive speed and ample storage. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 with 6GB GDDR6 makes this laptop a top-tier graphics performer, while its 40cm display significantly improves the gaming experience. At 1.9kg, it's relatively portable for a gaming powerhouse that also incorporates AI tools.

3. ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED is among the latest laptops that incorporate AI capabilities, with a sleek performance all thanks to its Intel EVO Core Ultra 5 125H processor and built-in AI. In addition, the 14-inch FHD OLED display is compelling, allowing it to always bring vibrant visuals to your screen. Weighing just 1.22 kg, this AI laptop is exceptionally portable yet powerful and also features 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD - enough to get all your tasks done. In addition, the Intel Arc graphics will take your productivity to the next level, while the 75WH battery ensures long-lasting use.

4. HP Victus Gaming Laptop

The HP Victus Gaming Laptop is loaded with a range of powerful features and is supported by AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS and a 6GB RTX 3050 GPU, making it a great buy especially for gamers. Its 16.1-inch FHD IPS display with 144Hz refresh rate guarantees smooth visuals while its 16GB DDR5 RAM and a 1TB SSD makes handling demanding games a breeze. With the RGB keyboard on this AI laptop, gamers can enjoy added benefits while the Bang & Olufsen audio will take your gaming experience to the next level. This HP AI laptop weighs 2.29 kg, making it a robust yet portable option that runs Windows 11 and is available in blue.

5. Lenovo LOQ AI Powered Laptop

AI is here, especially on this laptop! The Lenovo LOQ Gaming Laptop, featuring an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS and AI capabilities, is a powerful choice for gamers. With its 15.6-inch FHD IPS display with 144Hz refresh rate and 350 nits brightness, users can expect smooth visuals around-the-clock.In addition, it is also equipped with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD, which means you get fast and efficient performance. Buyers can also experience impeccable gaming graphics with the NVIDIA RTX 3050 6GB GPU. This AI laptop is available in Storm Grey and weighs 2.4 kg. You also get Windows 11, Office 2021, and a 3-month Game Pass with this AI laptop.

6. ASUS TUF Gaming A15

The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 laptop is a technological marvel. This laptop excels with its AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS processor and 6GB RTX 4050 GPU that equip it with the exact force to deliver a robust gaming performance. In addition, its 15.6-inch FHD display with a 144Hz refresh rate ensures smooth and responsive gameplay. What else do you get? 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD make it a reliable partner in terms of speed and storage both. The 90WHr battery is also able to provide extended gaming sessions, while the 1-Zone RGB keyboard adds value to your purchase. This AI laptop weighs 2.20 kg and runs Windows 11, making it a formidable gaming companion.

Also read: Our picks of best Windows laptops will redefine your everyday computing experience; top 8 options

How are AI laptops different from traditional laptops?

If you've been wondering what separates traditional laptops from AI laptops, you need to take into account various factors, especially dedicated hardware and software that can handle AI tasks efficiently. AI laptops are supported by powerful GPUs and specialised AI processors which accelerate machine learning and deep learning applications.

For optimal potential,  these laptops require substantial RAM and SSD storage to manage large datasets. Sophisticated cooling systems on AI laptops guarantee exceptional performance during heavy tasks. You also get AI-driven features such as predictive typing, voice recognition, and adaptive battery management on AI laptops.

We recommend AI laptops for tech professionals, data scientists, and developers if they want an edge in terms of performance and productivity.

Disclaimer: At Livemint, we help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and products. Mint has an affiliate partnership, so we may get a part of the revenue when you make a purchase. We shall not be liable for any claim under applicable laws, including but not limited to the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, with respect to the products. The products listed in this article are in no particular order of priority.

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Bharat Sharma
It's an exciting time to be in love in with tech—be it the frenetic pace of AI, the myriad uses of gadgets, and how technology is changing everyday life. As a tech journalist, I believe tech and gadgets have the potential to solve all of the world's problems if used holistically, and my job is make to it more relatable and understandable.
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Published: 21 May 2024, 05:52 PM IST
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