More Notebooks Step Up to Core 2 Duo

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The Core 2 Duo train keeps on rolling: yesterday additional computer makers announced new notebook offerings based around Intel’s mobile edition of its Core 2 Duo processor, with Sony and Gateway all rolling out numerous models for the North American market. As with other company’s announcements, the systems tend to be comparatively straightforward CPU upgrades from existing Pentium M or Core Duo systems, rather than revolutionary leaps forward in either performance or features. But the industry is certainly promoting Core 2 Duo as the latest and greatest must-have technology…we’ll leave it to our Tender Readers to decide how true that might be.

Sony Corporation yesterday unveiled eight notebook configurations in it Vaio line featuring Core 2 Duo processors, one in the Vaio FE series, four in the compact AR series, and three in the high-end SZ series. At $1,350, the Vaio FE-770G is Sony’s least expensive Core 2 Duo offering, combining a 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo processor with a 15.4-inch 1,280 by 800 pixel LCD, 1 GB of RAM, and a 120 GB hard drive. The Vaio SZ series aim to be ultra-portables, offering 13.3-inch screens and prices starting at $1,950 for the SZ320P/B, $2,150 for the SZ330P/B, and $2,350 for the SZ360P/C. The SZ3320P/B sports a 1,280 by 800 screen, 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 graphics, 1 GB of RAM and a 120 GB hard disk; the SZ330P/B pumps the processor to 2 GHz, and the SZ360P/C bumps the RAM to 2 GB. At the high end, the AR series offer 17-inch 1,440 by 900 LCD screens, Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 graphics controllers, up to 2 GB of RAM, and—at the very high end with the AR290G for $3,500—an integrated NTSC TV tuner, HDMI output, 1,290 by 1,200 screen resolution, and Blu-Ray disc support.

Not to be left out, Gateway announced that it will be shipping no fewer than eight Core 2 Duo-equipped notebook models by August 31 at prices starting at $999. CPU options will include 1.66 GHz Core 2 Duo T5500 and T5600 processors with 2 MB of L2 cache, running at 1.66 and 1.83 MHz respectively; folks wanting more power can opt for 2 GHz Core 2 Duo T7200 processors with 4 MB of L2 cache. Core 2 Duo processors will be available in the company’s M255-E, M285-E, M465-E and M685-E professional series notebooks, as well as the NX260X, NX560, NX860X and CX210X consumer-direct models; both lines include screen sizes from 14 to 17 inches, as well as convertible tablet PCs.