Intel brought its Pentium 4 processor to mobile PCs on Monday, and several major PC makers released products taking advantage of the new chip.
Using Intel's SpeedStep technology, the Pentium 4 Processor-M is able to operate using low voltage, which saves battery power in mobile computers, Intel said. The SpeedStep technology automatically switches between maximum performance mode and battery-optimized mode depending on the workload created by an application. Users will experience quicker and more reliable data transfers over a wireless network through the automatic selection of the most energy-efficient mode, the company said.
Despite these claims, one analyst feels that the Pentium 4 Processor-M is not only "the most powerful mobile processor available today (but also) the most power-hungry." The trade-off between faster performance and battery life characterizes Intel's mobile processors, said Gordon Haff, an analyst at Illuminata. In a mobile environment, a faster processor isn't necessarily a better processor, Haff added.
The chip, which comes in a 1.7GHz model and a 1.6GHz model, was made using Intel's 0.13-micron process technology and is based on the NetBurst microarchitecture, which has a 400MHz processor system bus and a 512KB memory cache.
Along with the mobile processor, Intel announced a new chipset family for mobile PCs. The mobile Intel 845 family will combine with the Pentium 4 Processor-M to deliver performance increases and wireless capabilities to both consumers and businesses, Intel said in a statement. The 845 family includes two chipsets, the 845MP and 845MZ.
Compaq and Dell announced products Monday which run off the Pentium 4 Processor-M. Earlier on Monday, Toshiba announced three new notebooks that utilize the Pentium 4.
Dell released two notebook computers containing the mobile processor, the Inspiron 8200 and the Latitude C840. Both come with Nvidia's GeForce4 440 Go graphics controllers, 15-inch high-resolution displays, and several high-speed optical CD drives.
The Inspiron 8200 is targeted at users looking for a range of features from low price to high performance, Dell said. The base model comes with a 1.6GHz Pentium 4 Processor-M, 128MB of DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM), a 20GB hard drive, support for wireless networking with a mini-PCI (Peripheral Component Interface) slot, and Microsoft's Windows XP Home.
Users who seek value and optimum performance will prefer the Latitude C840, Dell said. It features a 1.6GHz Pentium 4 Processor-M, 128MB of DDR SDRAM, a 20GB hard drive, an internal 802.11b wireless networking card, an enhanced graphics display, and Microsoft's Windows XP Pro.
Compaq followed suit with the introduction of the Presario 2800 and the Evo N800 notebooks. These machines use the 1.7GHz Pentium 4 Processor-M, which makes them the fastest notebooks on the market from Compaq, the company said in a statement. Both notebooks come with Compaq's Multiport feature, which enables wireless access to the Internet or corporate networks using either Bluetooth or the 802.11b standard.
The Presario 2800 is designed for consumers, and comes with a 30GB hard drive, ATI Technologies Inc.'s Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics with 64MB of DDR memory, a DVD/CD-RW (digital versatile disc/CD-rewritable) combo drive, and weighs less than 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms).
Business users are the target market of the Evo N800, which is only 1.3 inches (3.3 centimeters) thick. It comes with up to a 60G-byte hard drive, ATI's Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics with up to 64MB of DDR memory, and various optical drives. Compaq expects the Evo N800 to be available in the second quarter of 2002.