Intel first launched the Pentium brand nearly 30 years ago and the Celeron line of processors about 25 years ago. Since the rise of the Core series in 2006, they have both been assigned to low-cost processors, often featured on budget laptops and desktops. From 2023, they’re both gone: Intel’s low-end laptop offerings will simply be labeled “Intel Processor” with a new iteration of the Intel Inside logo.
Intel’s press release notes that this is purely a rebranding and does not affect actual hardware development in any way. The decision, in quotes, “leaves Intel’s current product offerings and Intel’s product roadmap unchanged.” Intel processor products will likely fall below Core i3 offerings in power, capacity, and price. Legacy Pentium and Celeron processors tend to apply to cheaper Windows laptops and a wider range of cheaper Chromebooks.
The press release calls it a “new, streamlined brand architecture” and says the company is focusing on its flagship brands, Intel Core, Evo and vPro. But as a consumer, I think that could create a real point of confusion. Not least because there is now a branding difference between an Intel CPU and an Intel CPU (note the proper name), but because Evo and vPro are marketing terms for a range of features… that apply to Core CPUs existing. Presumably, this all makes perfect sense, if you’ve been on Intel’s board for 15 years.
Imagine a non-technical customer at Best Buy. “I want a laptop with an Intel processor,” they ask. “Yeah, here’s one,” replies the seller. “Which?” asks the customer. “An Intel processor,” responds the seller, in line with Intel’s brand initiatives. Abbott and Costello would kill for such a gift-wrapped setup.
Exactly when in 2023 we can expect to see the first formerly Pentium and Celeron laptops switch to the Intel processor brand has not been specified. Expect to see some of the first models appear at CES and other trade shows, and hit store shelves mid-year.