Even then, only the very high-end models, the quad-core Core i7 chips, are currently available. The more mainstream dual-core Core i3 and Core i5 processors found in most laptops won't get updated until sometime in May or June (and then probably won't be physically available for some time after that).
A handful of hearty manufacturers have already put the high-end new Core i7 chips up on their sites, allowing you to configure and order an Ivy Bridge laptop right now, although most of the estimated ship dates we've seen are several weeks out. The vendors we've found already offering third-gen Intel CPUs are:
- Alienware: M14x, M17x, M18x -- available to order now; estimated shipping date May 28. (Dell says this morning that anyone who has recently ordered one of three models above with a quad-core Core i7, and whose orders have not shipped yet, will get an automatic Ivy Bridge upgrade.)
- Origin: EON15-S, EON17-S, EON11-S -- available to order now; estimated shipping date, May 31.
- Maingear: eX-L 15/17, Alt-15 -- available to order now; estimated shipping date May 14.
- HP: Pavilion dv6t and dv7t, quad-edition series -- available to order now; estimated shipping date May 9.
- Asus: ROG G75VW and G55VW -- Asus is promoting Ivy Bridge versions of these gaming laptops, and links to Amazon and Best Buy indicate that they ship in three to five days (but the online retailers are a little unclear about exactly what chip is in these systems, so order with caution).
- Samsung: 15-inch and 17-inch Series 7 Chronos -- updated on Samsung's Web site with third-gen processors, but so far, we've been unable to find them available to order online or in stores.
Of course, while our benchmark testing shows modest performance and battery life improvement with Ivy Bridge, the main advantage is better integrated graphics, something most people buying an Alienware or Origin laptop don't really need (as they'll have a dedicated Nvidia or AMD GPU).
But, if you absolutely must be the first on the block with the latest and greatest, check out the models listed above. If you run across other Ivy Bridge laptops available to configure and order, let us know in the comments section below and we'll update this list.