Want a notebook with more jolt? Intel yesterday launched its fastest mobile processors to date: a 700MHz Pentium III with SpeedStep and a 550MHz Celeron. Major vendors including Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba are announcing new products built around the CPUs.
The latest PIII has an integrated 256KB L2 cache and uses SpeedStep technology to offer 700MHz performance when on AC power and 550MHz speed when using the battery (you also can run full-speed on battery). The 550MHz Celeron has an on-die 128KB L2 cache and does not offer SpeedStep.
Dell is among the first vendors to offer notebooks with the new PIII chip. Starting Monday the 700MHz chip will be available across the company's Inspiron line. Dell is selling 700MHz PIII configurations for each of its Inspiron models: the 3800, 5000, and 7500.
Also Monday, HP launches a corporate notebook line, the OmniBook 6000. The 6000 line features both the new Celeron and PIII processors and will begin shipping May 1.
The redesigned 6000 replaces the OmniBook 4150 and uses the same docking accessories plus new security options. Toshiba also is getting into the act, adding the 700MHz PIII to its Tecra 8100 line. Available in May, the Tecra 8100 can be built to order, but Toshiba also offers a preferred configuration.
Intel continues to expect strong growth in mobile computing, says Russell Schafer, Intel's director of market development and channel marketing. Much of that growth comes from small business buyers, who appreciate the increased flexibility of a mobile PC, he says. As processing power increases, Schafer notes, other customers buy notebooks for new tricks, such as watching DVD movies on planes.
AMD last week introduced its mobile K6-III+ and mobile K6-2+ CPUs. The company targets the K6-III+ (with its 256KB on-die L2 cache and speeds of 450-, 475-, and 500MHz) at high-performance notebooks. The K6-2+ (with a 128KB on-die L2 cache and speeds of 450-, 475-, and 500MHz) is for value-priced notebooks. The company plans to ship a mobile version of its Athlon processor by the end of the year.
CPU startup Transmeta, meanwhile, says its power-saving 700MHz TM5400 processor should start showing up in notebooks after midyear.