Operation overdrive: 1GHz notebooks on assignment

Although the PIII 1GHz processor has existed for the desktop for quite some time now, the mobile processor has features and characteristics that distinguish it from its desktop cousin and enhance the mobile experience in ways that the desktop processor can not.

One of the major distinguishing factors between the desktop and mobile 1GHz processors is the use of SpeedStep technology. In effect, this allows the 0.18-micron Pentium III processor within a notebook to vary its clock speed and the amount of voltage it requires to operate, thereby enabling greater battery life when away from an AC power outlet. In Battery Optimized Mode, the 1GHz Pentium III mobile processor compromises only part of its total performance by dropping from 1GHz operating at 1.7V to 700MHz operating at 1.35V. A drop in processor power works in conjunction with a drop in the amount of voltage required to operate the processor, resulting in longer battery life.

Many of the major notebook vendors have come to the mobile 1GHz party and we have a sample set of five systems from Acer, Dell, Gateway, IBM and Toshiba. This gives a good indication of the types of notebooks that will ship with these processors and the features that can be found on them. For the most part, these were desktop replacement systems with large screens, generous hard drives and very high-end graphics adapters. Other features varied wildly, from DVD-ROM and CD-R/RW drives to biometric security features and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth aerials, plus other goodies such as IEEE 1394 FireWire connectivity and S/PDIF digital audio out.

  • Acer TravelMate 739GTLV

  • Dell Inspiron 8000

  • IBM ThinkPad A22p

  • Gateway Solo 9500 Deluxe

  • Toshiba Tecra 8200

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