Vendors mix Centrino, Pentium M configurations

IDG News Service |  Hardware

Most vendors are looking to improve their existing thin-and-light notebooks -- products that weigh around 5 pounds to 6 pounds -- with the new technology as opposed to building new, aggressive designs, Baker said. For now, Centrino and the Pentium M are designed mostly for corporate users, but consumers will eventually be part of the marketing plan for these notebooks, he said.

Beyond the wireless capability, longer battery life and integrated support for USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 ports are two of the major advances of the Centrino package, Promisel said. Just about every vendor is promising longer battery life with their new Centrino and Pentium M notebooks, and many are including multiple batteries to extend that life even further.

Here is a listing of specific information on each company's new notebooks:

-- Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. released five Centrino notebooks. Two models in the Satellite Pro series, the M10 and M15, are targeted at consumers who want multimedia features along with performance and battery life that appeals to professional users, said Craig Marking, senior product marketing manager for Toshiba. The Satellite Pro models are the heaviest of Toshiba's new models, at 6.8 pounds (3.1 kilograms), and come with the 1.4GHz version of the Pentium M and the Intel Pro Wireless chip. A base configuration of both models includes a 15-inch display, a 40G-byte hard drive, 512M bytes of DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), an Nvidia Corp. GeForce4 420 Go graphics card with 32M bytes of video memory, and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive. The M15 comes with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP Home Edition for US$1,999, and the M10 features Windows XP Professional Edition for $2,079.

The slightly lighter Tecra series also comes in two models. The Tecras are designed for mobile users in a campus environment, either at a university or a large company, where users can wander around a large area while remaining connected to a wireless network using the Intel Pro Wireless chip, Marking said. The Tecra S1 weighs 6.1 pounds in its base configuration, and comes with a 1.4GHz Pentium M processor, a 15-inch display, a 30G-byte hard drive, 256M bytes of DDR memory, a Mobility Radeon 9000 graphics card with 32M bytes of video memory from ATI Technologies Inc., and a DVD-ROM drive, and is priced at $1,979. The Tecra M1 weighs 5.7 pounds, and comes with the 1.4GHz Pentium M, a 14.1-inch display, a 40G-byte hard drive, 256M bytes of DDR memory, a XP4m32 graphics controller with 32M bytes of video memory from Trident Microsystems Inc., and a DVD-ROM drive, for $2,154.

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