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Notebook, 300 Mhz, Mobile PII, Touchpad, Pointing stick, Energy saving, Battery, AC adapter, Desktop replacement, High performance, Expensive, Intel CPU


In December Intel announced new Mobile Pentium II CPU. Intel increased its speed up to 300 MHz. In this article Melissa J. Perenson and Carol Venezia presented four high-end notebooks powered by Intel’s Mobile Pentium II CPUs. All these notebooks were from different companies: Compaq, Dell, Hewlett Packard and Toshiba. In my point of view their configuration and performances are remarkable and enviable. Juudge yourself – powered by 300MHz Pentium II, each of them has 64MB of RAM, with at least 6GB hard disk capacity, wonderful graphic accelerators and many other additional devices.
“PC Magazine” readers asked to test these notebooks for 3-D performance. Authors of this article knew that no 3-D business-oriented applications are on market today, so they decided, that notebook users just want to play Quake II on the airplane. So for the first time they tested these notebooks for 3-D performance wiith ZD 3D WinMark98 benchmark test. And everyone was surprised, when saw how well some performed. With such notebooks you can play Quake II and many others games, which require 3D calculations, without any fear that they would run slow or

r would not run at all. Dell Inspiron 7000 D300Lt gathered up a score of 755. Authors say that this score is much higher than the majority of 400Mhz Pentium II desktop PCs that they tested this year. And that’s because of its 8MB graphic subsystem – first produced in notebooks. Others 3-D performances were a bit lower, but still impressive. Only Toshiba Tecra8000 produced 3D WinMark score that was markedly lower than others. The reason for this is that Tecra’s graphic accelerator doesn’t support 3-D calls in hardware (system forced the test to run in software, so the score was lower).
These machines can work without external power quite long too. HP Omnivbook7150 battery life lasted 3 hours 32 minutes, Dell Inspiron7000 3 hours 9 minutes, Tooshiba Tecra8000 2 hours 52 minutes and only Compaq Armada7400 showed worst time in this roundup – 2 hours 39 minutes (but in my opinion its enough too).
Other equipment of these notebooks is quite impressive too. The capacities of hard drives are from 6,4GB (Compaq Armada) to 8,2GB (HP Omnibook). Notebooks have excellent displays (SVGA or XGA) with diameters from 13,3 inches (Compaq Armada) to 15 inches (Dell Inspiron). In addition each of them has 56,6-Kbps modem for connection, and 2x DVD-ROM drive (Dell Inspiron and HP
P Omnibook) or 24x CD-ROM drive (Compaq Armada and Toshiba Tecra). To enhance unit’s DVD or CD drive each of them has sound card and integrated speakers.
In spite of high performances these notebooks are not very heavy. Lightest of them is Toshiba Tecra with weight of only 7,4 pounds and heaviest Dell Inspiron with weight of 10 pounds.
These notebooks have place for additional devices. Customer can choose from different options: a SuperDisk LS-120 drive, a second SMART hard disk, an Iomega Zip drive, a Sony LS120drive or a second battery. Of course each of these devices increases price of purchase. Besides prices of these products are high too (at least from Lithuanian point of view). Price of base configuration Dell Inspiron 7000 D300Lt is 3699$, Compaq Armada7400 – 4200$, Toshiba Tecra8000 – 4400$ and HP Omnibook7150 – 5000$.
For those customers, who need portable computers with such high characteristics I think these notebooks are not very expensive. But in this case you can’t say that the more expensive computer is better computer. As we see Dell Inspiron is cheapest notebook, but I admire of its characteristics and performance – 300Mhz PII, 64Mb of RAM, 8GB HDD, 8MB graphic card, 2x DVD-ROM drive, 56.6Kbps modem, 15 inch display and so on.
When yo
ou look at specifications of these notebooks (especially of Dell Inspiron) you realize that in our days it has been created new generation of mobile computers which performance is in one level with high-end desktop computers and they can be called desktop replacements.

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