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PC World

High-powered portables arrive in force

October 27, 1999
Web posted at: 8:48 a.m. EDT (1248 GMT)

by Tom Mainelli

(IDG) -- SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- Mobile computer users may reap some of the largest benefits from Intel's announcement of Pentium III processors based on Coppermine technology. Systems built on the first crop of Mobile Pentium III processors will offer higher speeds, improved performance, and better battery life.

With new chip speeds of 400, 450, and 500 megahertz, this is the most comprehensive launch in Intel's mobile history, says Robert Jecmen, general manager of Intel's Mobile and Handheld Products Group. Not only do the new chips run much faster than the PIIs introduced last year, they do it better, and more efficiently, he says.

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The new 0.18-micron technology offers performance enhancements while requiring less power and creating less heat. A faster 100-MHz system bus and the new 256KB Advanced Transfer Cache also help speed things along. And the new QuickStart technology helps further save battery life by creating lower power states when the CPU is not in use.

Laptops of luxury

Notebook vendors eager to capitalize on the new technologies and the PIII's marketing clout joined Intel en masse Monday, announcing a plethora of new portable systems.

Among the first out of the chute and into the hands of PC World testers were Dell's 500-MHz Inspiron 7500 R500VT, Hewlett-Packard's 500-MHz OmniBook 4150, and Gateway's 450-MHz Solo 9300 (see link at right).

Other notebook vendors to join the chorus Monday included market leader Toshiba, as well as Fujitsu and IBM. Other major vendors are expected to announce PIII-based products in coming weeks.

Toshiba's first PIII offering comes in its venerable Tecra line. The company announced Monday plans to offer the 500-MHz PIII as part of its Tecra 8000 Built-to-Order line. While there are thousands of configuration possibilities, the "featured" Tecra 8000 available in high volumes includes the 500-MHz PIII, 64MB memory, 10.1GB hard drive, 4X DVD-ROM drive, a 14.1-inch display, integrated 56 kilobits-per-second modem, and Windows 98, for $3999.

Fujitsu will offer a handful of products based on Intel's latest processors. The new LifeBook S Series thin and light notebook will take advantage of the new PIII 400MHz processor designed for smaller systems. The notebook is a mere 11.3 inches wide, 8.8 inches deep, and 0.97 inch high, and weighs just 3.74 pounds. In addition to its 400-MHz PIII, it offers 64 to 128MB memory, a 6 or 9GB hard drive, and internal flexible bay, and a built-in 56Kbps modem and 10/100 base-T Ethernet local area network. The unit will ship in November and prices start at $2299. The company will also begin shipping new LifeBook X Series, LifeBook E Series, and LifeBook C Series notebooks featuring the PIIIs.

Finally Big Blue throws its support behind the new chips by offering them in the latest versions of its ThinkPad 600 and ThinkPad 390 lines.

Available in a wide range of configurations, the "workhorse" model of the ThinkPad 600X (2645-4EU/8EU) sells for between $3899 and $3999 and includes the 500-MHz PIII, 64MB memory, 12GB hard drive, 24X CD-ROM, 56Kbps modem, a 13.3-inch display, and Windows 98 or NT. The "workhorse" model of the ThinkPad 390X (2626-LOU/LNU) sells for $3099 to $3199 and includes the 450-MHz PIII, 64MB memory, a 12GB hard drive, 24X CD-ROM drive, 56Kbps modem, a 14-inch display, and Windows 98 or NT.

Coppermine recaptures speed crown for Intel
October 26, 1999
Vendors grumbling over Intel's 820 chip set delays
October 25, 1999
Coppermine comes Monday, but Camino has to wait
October 22, 1999
Vendors pushing unfinished hardware
October 5, 1999

PIII Notebooks: Speed, Power to Spare
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Intel's Coppermine Recaptures Speed Crown
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Toshiba offers consistency with new desktop, notebook lines
Stalled 820 Chip Set Delays Some PIII-733
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