AMD’s RDNA 2 is quietly arriving in budget laptops


In September, AMD launched some of the first mobile chips from its upcoming Ryzen 7000 line, its budget-oriented “Mendocino” series. At launch, they were described as tailor-made for “the everyday laptop”, combining the latest generation of Zen 2 CPU cores with high-performance RDNA 2 graphics.

That RDNA 2, which generally powers much more expensive machines as well as the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, could become widely available at a budget price point was an exciting prospect. But Mendocino only announced one partner at launch: Acer and its Aspire 3 series. Since then, we’ve basically… been hearing crickets about the Mendocino series.

That is, until today. Kudos for that Notebook Italy to spot various new items Lenovo’s product specification reference websitewhich makes it clear that the Mendocino has a new home: Lenovo’s Ideapad 1. If you look at the “Processor” section of the mentionyou’ll see a number of Mendocino chips listed, including the Ryzen 5 7520U, the Ryzen 3 7320U, and the Athlon Gold 7220U.

A PDF screenshot of an IdeaPad 1 with an Athlon Gold 7220U processor.

Here is one of the Athlon Gold 7220U models sold in Korea.

It does not appear from the website that Lenovo has Mendocino models in the US market. (However, determined buyers in the US will have quite a few other countries to look for models in, including the UK, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.) So while it’s hard to make definitive statements about possible US pricing, I’ve there are a number of models found on it Lenovo’s store in Hong Kong starting at an equivalent of $437.

Most importantly, it’s always nice to see good technology available for lower prices. Although the presence of RDNA 2 alone is not enough, let’s say Microsoft Flight Simulator an easy lift, we’d certainly expect most esports titles to be significantly more playable on Mendocino devices than on just about any other budget laptop. And the shortcomings of the Intel chips (both in performance and efficiency) have made choosing decent budget laptops from this year’s class a difficult task. The more AMD you can find at lower prices, the better.