Notebook computer buyers are about to get a raft of new choices. Intel
will formally introduce its latest mobile platform, the Centrino Pro, today
at an event in San Francisco. The Centrino Pro was known by its codename
‘Santa Rosa’ while in development.
Dell (Quote) said it’s going to wait till the fall to
offer systems with the full Centrino Pro chipset and features, but Dell’s
new systems will be based on the latest Intel Core 2 Duo chips at the heart
of Centrino Pro.
Brett McAnally, senior marketing manager for the Dell Latitude line of
business notebooks, said “a big portion of the market is not committed to
Centrino Pro,” which includes Intel’s Active
Management Technology (AMT).
“We’ll be releasing systems based on Santa Rosa without the AMT components,” McAnally told internetnews.com. He said Dell currently supports the DASH
management system developed by the Desktop Management Task Force standards
body, which supports both Intel (Quote) and AMD
Dell also plans to release a consumer notebook, the D531 (US$839) that
sports AMD Turion 64 and Sempron processors.
Dell is emphasizing power efficiency features and extended battery
capabilities in the new systems. Dell said its thin-and-light (4.5 lbs) D630
(US$1,189) and D830 (US$1,249) offer as much as 9.4 hours of battery life.
Security features supported include a fully encrypted hard drive.
Lenovo’s three new notebooks are based on the Centrino Pro and are physically “the strongest” notebooks it’s ever shipped. The lineup includes the ThinkPad T61 and R61 14-inch notebooks priced at $1,399 and $1,249 respectively. The N200 is a 15-inch widescreen notebook for $1,099 that is due out the end of this month.
For years, Lenovo notebooks have included a magnesium alloy roll cage to the base unit; the latest notebooks include a new Top Cover Roll Cage, making the systems 20 percent stronger overall. The honeycomb design of the roll cage is meant to cushion the notebook’s LCD screen and reduce stress on the display structure and antenna.
Lenovo is making further use of the top cover roll cage to improve
wireless communications. “Traditionally, we put WAN (define) series
antennae external to the cover to boost wireless signal, but now it’s built
in,” Tom Butler, Lenovo’s worldwide segment manager for notebooks, told
internetnews.com. “This is a huge innovation for us.”
Other features include improved thermal management that lowers the
temperature by 10 percent and reduces noise level by three decibels over
previous ThinkPad notebooks. Lenovo is also including a “Battery Stretch”
feature that lets users control settings such as screen refresh to squeeze
out extra battery life when on a long airplane flight or running out of