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Intel’s Lunar Lake CPUs could be delayed, miss the back-to-school rush

Originally expected in Q3 2024, Intel's next generation of laptop CPUs have reportedly been pushed back, missing a peak shopping season.

intel lunar lake laptops delay

If you were eyeing up one of Intel’s upcoming Lunar Lake-based laptops whether as a general purpose laptop for school/college/travel or as a dedicated gaming laptop, you might be waiting longer than you hoped. It’s being reported that the Intel Lunar Lake launch has been pushed back from an original launch window of Q3 2024 (Jul – Sept) to Q4 2024 (Oct – Dec).

This delay means that while new Intel Lunar Lake laptops might be available in time for Black Friday and holiday season shopping, they will only just have become available so discounts might be few and far between. As such, those seeking some of the best gaming laptops in particular, are liking to be relying on long existing models that are already available now, such as the Asus Zephyrus G14.

The specifics of the situation are that, according to DigiTimes (via HardwareTimes), shipments of Lunar Lake AI processors were scheduled for June 2024 but have now been pushed back until September.

This delay will mean that the explosion of new AI-enabled CPUs and products based on them will happen for months without Intel’s involvement. AMD was already expected to have a head start on Intel, with its Strix Point Ryzen AI 300 mobile CPU products arriving at the end of this month. Plus, Qualcomm’s much-hyped ARM-based Elite X CPUs – that have ludicrously long battery life – are already available.

What’s even worse for Intel is that AMD Strix Point gaming performance is expected to be good enough that it will mean laptops without dedicated laptop gaming GPUs will be able to provide decent gaming performance. Intel Lunar Lake itself is also expected to have decent gaming performance but with such a large delay, many gamers will have long since made their choice, especially if a new laptop is needed for the back-to-school time period.

No specific reason has been given for the apparent delay, but one possible reason is that Intel Lunar Lake is actually being made using TSMC’s manufacturing rather than Intel’s, and it uses a newer 3nm N3B process than the 4nm N4P process of AMD Strix Point. As such, Intel may have had less time to build up stock of the new chips given its use of a cutting-edge process.

All we know for now, ultimately, is that if you’re after a top tier proper gaming laptop, you can shop now safe in the knowledge that the current generation offers excellent overall performance – Strix Point and Lunar Lake aren’t designed to work alongside large dedicated laptop GPUs. But, if you’re looking to buy a smaller, more compact laptop with some possible gaming performance, AMD Strix Point will be your only option for some months to come.