New Centrino Laptops Come Alive

Intel’s unveiling of their latest-generation Centrino processor technology (formerly known as Santa Rosa) for use in notebook computers in the consumer and business arenas, has of course sparked a flurry of new laptop announcements as major computer brands race to be the first to market with features like faster Intel Core Duo 2 processors. Toshiba, Lenovo, HP, Sony, Gateway, Fujitsu, Acer and Dell, among others, have made it known that they plan on embracing Intel’s newest technology.

Some manufacturers are releasing products immediately, while others roll out new gear a little later. Take a tour with us now of the ever-changing landscape of Laptop land as we give you brief looks at new Centrino Duo (consumer) and Centrino Pro (business) notebook computers coming your way shortly.

Acer 

Acer’s contribution to today’s announcement is the stylish Aspire 5920 line. This new notebook series, which Acer is calling the Gemstone, has on selected models, Intel’s new Robson technology. This particular feature, also known as Turbo Memory, uses non-volatile memory to read and write applications to a system cache instead of the hard drive. The Aspire 5920s will sport a 15.4-inch wide display, a Nvidia GeForce 8600M-GT graphics card, up to 4GB of dual channel memory and up to 200GB of hard drive space.

Rounding out the potential features of the Aspire 5920 are choices like Dolby Home Theater Virtual Surround Sound speakers, a HDMI port, HD-DVD drive, TV tuner (DVB-T), dedicated media keys, 5-in-1 media card reader, ExpressCard slot and wireless technologies such as 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.0. 

Acer Aspire 5920
Acer Aspire 5920

Dell 

Besides stating it would begin offering a Latitude D430 ultra-mobile notebook and Dell Precision M4300 laptop with the new Intel processors in coming weeks, Dell also unveiled the Latitude D630 (starting price $1,189) and Latitude D830 (starting price $1,249). The former sports a 14.1-inch wide display and weighs in around 4.5 pounds, while the D830 has a 15.4-inch display and weighs around six pounds. Dell said testing on the D630 revealed the new Intel processor gave the laptop around 9.4 hours of battery life.

Features on these two models, depending upon configuration, include an encrypted hard drive, Turbo Memory (like the Acer), a solid state drive, a built-in mobile broadband mini-card that supports tri-band high-speed global roaming, brighter displays, integrated 802.11n wireless technology, a biometric reader and durable magnesium alloy construction. 

Fujitsu 

Fujitsu debuted four new corporate-focused LifeBook laptops, including a convertible Tablet PC. All of these notebook computers feature Intel Centrino Pro processor technology and offer either the Intel GM965 Express Chipset or the Intel PM965 Express Chipset. The LifeBook E8410 includes features like Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N for enhanced 802.11 connectivity, a 15.4-inch widescreen display, built-in camera and a durable and lightweight design with magnesium-alloy casing, spill-resistant keyboard and stainless-steel hinges.

The E8410 is joined by the LifeBook A630, sporting a 15.4-inch display and optional point-and-write touch-pad for signature capture and short note taking, and the LifeBook E830 with its 15-inch display and array of security features. Fujitsu’s new Tablet PC offering is the LifeBook T4220. This 4.3 pound convertible notebook offers keyboard or tablet style input and offers up a modular bay with security features as well as a bi-directional display hinge for turning the screen in both directions. 

Gateway 

The Gateway contribution to this next generation of laptop technology comes in the form of the E-475M and E-265M. These two laptops respectively have 15.4-inch and 14.1-inch widescreen displays, can get upwards of 10-1/2 hours of battery life and have a starting price of around $1,300.

The E-475M is geared as a desktop replacement notebook, while the E-265M is more lightweight with its small 1.3-inch thin design. Either system can be configured with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD X2300 256MB or 512MB PCI Express or Intel GMA X3100 graphics card. Other interesting features include an optional custom built-to-fit 3M Privacy Filter for hiding the screen from prying eyes, a matte black textured plastic which is durable and advanced Intel wireless connectivity technology. 

HP 

HP, not to be outdone by any of its competitors, today unveiled 13 new notebook PCs which are centered on Intel’s new Centrino offering. Most notable among these are a monster desktop replacement model and an ultra-light Tablet PC.

The HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment Series Notebook PC, also known as the Dragon (because of HPs Imprint design) sports a big 20.1-inch widescreen display and 1080p resolution. This laptop is so big we’ve actually done break out coverage of it in another story here at Digital Trends. The HP Compaq 2710p Tablet PC, meanwhile, is a convertible notebook design with integrated camera for video conferencing and enhanced keyboard visibility in low light. It also features a silver finish with brushed aluminum accents. 

HP HDX
HP HDX aka Dragon notebook

Lenovo 

Lenovo brought two new laptops with it to the Intel Centrino Santa Rosa coming out party. These laptops, the $1,399 ThinkPad T61 and $1,249 ThinkPad R61, will both be available in mid-May and offer up a 14.1-inch widescreen display.

The Lenovo ThinkPads look to be some of the tougher notebook computers announced, featuring a honeycomb-designed roll cage which helps to protect the laptop’s LCD from the stresses of daily life. They also offer other features such as enhanced wireless performance through a special design feature, quieter operating noise levels and security options like full disk encryption hard drives, an integrated biometric fingerprint reader and a smart card reader. 

Lenovo T61
Lenovo T61

Sony 

Sony announced one new laptop during the Centrino unveiling. The VAIO FZ series, noted for its attractive styling, features options like HDMI output and a Blu-ray Disc drive is. And like the HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment Series, it’s also worthy of its own story. You can find that article here

Sony VAIO FZ series
Sony VAIO FZ series

Toshiba 

Toshiba, like HP, was out the gate with a larger number of new laptops as they unveiled three consumer and two corporate PCs being outfitted with the Santa Rosa technology. Pricing and availability information on the consumer laptops (Satellite P205, Satellite A205 and Qosmio G45) is not immediately available, while the corporate focused Tecra A9 is available now starting at $1,159 and the Tecra M9 has a recommended configuration price of around $1,800.

The three Toshiba consumer laptops will have what Toshiba describes as “striking looks” while at the same time incorporating elements of the Intel Centrino Duo processor technology such as the Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 4965AGN for supporting draft 802.11n wireless connectivity and Intel Turbo Memory. The Tecra A9 will use the Centrino Pro processor, a 15.4-inch widescreen LCD display and shock absorbing design. The Tecra M9 will likewise have a Pro processor while also having as features a 14.1-inch display, spill resistant keyboard, Nvidia Quadro NVS 130M discrete graphics chipset and Bluetooth 2.0.

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