Calling AMD’s upcoming 7nm Ryzen laptop CPUs a “watershed” moment for the company, AMD VP of computing and graphics Rick Bergman hinted that at least one model of laptop could hit “18 hours” of runtime.

Bergman dropped the figure on Thursday during a financial analyst briefing in San Francisco. While raw performance of AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 4000 chips is expected to rock Intel mobile CPUs back on their heels, battery life has been somewhat of a question mark since the introduction of the mobile chips at CES.

Our own betting odds of just how the chips would fall this year gave AMD the edge on just about every performance category except battery life. For the latter, we expect Intel will at least remain competitive, thanks to heavy investments in laptop power efficiency over the years.

Bergman’s statement on Thursday just might change our minds. “We’ve moved all the way up to as much as 18 hours with our new Ryzen product,” Bergman said, among other facts about how fast the chips would be, and how many PC makers are adopting AMD’s new Ryzen mobile chips.

Vendors have largely remained tight-lipped about Ryzen 4000 battery performance. Asus has said its gaming-focused ROG Zephyrus would hit “10 hours.”

Obviously what isn’t known is which laptop Bergman meant, how large the battery was, and what test was used to derive the 18 hours. Assuming AMD is being honest with its data, the new chip may be far more competitive than its predecessors were in runtime. Our review of Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 based on AMD’s older Ryzen 5 3580U said the battery life was “disappointing.”

Bergman didn’t provide further detail, so we’ll have to wait for actual retail laptops to hit the streets. But for those who've been anxious about Ryzen 4000’s battery performance, it’s a promising sign.


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