The Intel NUC M15 Laptop Kit brings Intel’s technical expertise to the whitebook market. Introduced in November 2020, the laptop kit provides Intel’s channel customers with a premium, precision engineered laptop kit. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Intel announced an in-house built Whitebook laptop on Thursday, called NUC M15. However, before you start thinking that Intel is getting into the laptop business, the laptop itself won’t be sold directly by the chip manufacturer. Instead, it will serve as a blueprint of sorts to other smaller vendors, which they can use to build a premium laptop without having to start from scratch.

The Intel NUC M15 Laptop Kit (formerly code-named “Bishop County”), is a white-label system. The ‘whitebook’ is new to the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) lineup, which mainly included mini-desktop computers. Intel says that the M15 kit exceeds the requirements of its Evo brand. The kit serves as a foundation for other manufacturers to build on, and later get certified by Intel’s Evo branding.

The M15 is a premium 15.6-inch productivity laptop. The laptop comes with 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processor and Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. The specific 11th Gen processor to be used is either Core i5-1135G7 or i7-1165G7, with 8GB or 16GB of RAM. The 15.6-inch screen will be an IPS display with a resolution of 1920×1080 (1080p). For USB connectivity, it has two Thunderbolt 4 / USB 4 Type-C ports and two USB-A ports. As expected, it comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a HDMI port.

With its productivity focused performance specs and a aluminum unibody design, it rivals the likes of Asus Zenbook and Dell XPS. The M15 isn’t the first white-label laptop by Intel, as the chip manufacturer has also made a Whitebook gaming laptop in the past called MAG-15, which was sold by vendors like Eluktronics and Schenker.

This launch comes as Intel continues to lose its grip over the chip market, thanks to the exponential growth shown by rival AMD, and Apple making the move to in house processors for its Macbooks. With the launch of the 7nm technology being delayed to late 2022, Intel is exploring other avenues to maintain a respectable position in the market, at least until it can catch up to its competitors.