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Is Centrino the smart choice for all laptop purchases?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 12th 03, 06:42 PM
Whelan
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Default Is Centrino the smart choice for all laptop purchases?

Is the Centrino the smart choice for all of us who are buying a laptop these
days?
Does it make a laptop purchased today with an older processor obsolete
before its time?

Or is it just appropriate for the Mobile segment of the market, not the
Desktop Replacement segment?

I'm confused.
I got conflicting advice yesterday from Gateway. I stopped in a store to see
their models and a salesman said I didn't need Centrino -- that was just for
travelers. He may have had an inventory there to sell. I came home and
looked up the model (500) on their website, but it's gone, replaced by a
similar model with a centrino. Gateway's Online Chat sales rep recommended
centrino.
Along the same lines, 12 days ago I ordered a Dell 8500 -- then right after
it shipped I noticed that it no longer exists in their Sept & Oct
catalogues, replaced by the 8600 -- same chassis with centrino.

What is a smart purchase today?
Nan


  #2  
Old November 12th 03, 07:26 PM
Andrew
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Default

In comp.sys.laptops Whelan wrote:
: Is the Centrino the smart choice for all of us who are buying a laptop these
: days?
: Does it make a laptop purchased today with an older processor obsolete
: before its time?

: Or is it just appropriate for the Mobile segment of the market, not the
: Desktop Replacement segment?

: I'm confused.
: I got conflicting advice yesterday from Gateway. I stopped in a store to see
: their models and a salesman said I didn't need Centrino -- that was just for
: travelers. He may have had an inventory there to sell. I came home and
: looked up the model (500) on their website, but it's gone, replaced by a
: similar model with a centrino. Gateway's Online Chat sales rep recommended
: centrino.
: Along the same lines, 12 days ago I ordered a Dell 8500 -- then right after
: it shipped I noticed that it no longer exists in their Sept & Oct
: catalogues, replaced by the 8600 -- same chassis with centrino.

: What is a smart purchase today?

A smart purchase is one that fulfills your needs *TODAY*. It's silly
to think about your future possible needs because the value of a
laptop sinks so quickly no matter what you do...

So, what do you need today? Will you ever use your laptop on the
road? Will you ever use it when you need the battery to last a long
time or when you will have it on your lap (some P4-based laptops get
really hot)?

As you must know, Centrino's big advantage is the low power
consumption of it's Pentium M CPU, which allows much longer battery
life and a cooler design. The first Centrino machines were expensive
but are starting to come down - probably much more after Christmas.
It didn't make sense at first to get Centrino unless you really needed
the battery life, but soon it won't make much difference.

I tried an early Toshiba Centrino laptop in April (and by now that
laptop would be about as obsolete as the much cheaper Celeron machine
I got instead). The biggest problem I had with it was that it was
very slow in converting RAW images from my Canon digital camera. I'm
willing to concede that this early machine may have had problems
unrelated to basic CPU speed, because most Pentium M benchmarks show
it performs well compared to a higher-frequency Pentium 4. But this
task (RAW image conversion) was important to me, and my 2GHZ Celeron
converts the images much faster than that 1.3GHZ Pentium M/Centrino
machine did.

I do use my Celeron laptop in coffee shops with WiFi all the time, and
even though the battery life is only about two hours, I can usually
find a power outlet anyway. Places like Starbucks seem to be aware of
this and thus have gone out of their way to add power outlets in their
stores. A Centrino would certainly be more convenient - I hope my
next laptop will be a Centrino, provided my RAW conversion tests show
it works fast enough at that time.

Andrew
--
---- Portland, Oregon, USA ----
************************************************** *****************
---- http://www.bizave.com ---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
---- To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
************************************************** *****************

  #3  
Old November 12th 03, 10:46 PM
Adam
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Centrino or Pentuim m laptops are a better choice always- or nearly
always, as long as you can afford one. If you don't need very long
batteru life and don't mind the fan going on from time to time, you
should be fine with a Celeron or Mobile Pentium 4M. Those processors
will be sufficient and you can save some money. However, if you want
your laptop to be a long-time investment, go with Pentium M (Centrino
is a Pantium m plus Intel's own wifi chip). The biggest advantage of
Centrino or Pentium M is the quiet operation and thinner design. Bu
bear in mind one thing- there always be a later and better processor
on the market in some time... If I were you, I would go with a
Centrino- just for the peace of mind :-)
Greeteings
Adam Szmacinski, Poland

(Andrew) wrote in message m...
In comp.sys.laptops Whelan wrote:
: Is the Centrino the smart choice for all of us who are buying a laptop these
: days?
: Does it make a laptop purchased today with an older processor obsolete
: before its time?

: Or is it just appropriate for the Mobile segment of the market, not the
: Desktop Replacement segment?

: I'm confused.
: I got conflicting advice yesterday from Gateway. I stopped in a store to see
: their models and a salesman said I didn't need Centrino -- that was just for
: travelers. He may have had an inventory there to sell. I came home and
: looked up the model (500) on their website, but it's gone, replaced by a
: similar model with a centrino. Gateway's Online Chat sales rep recommended
: centrino.
: Along the same lines, 12 days ago I ordered a Dell 8500 -- then right after
: it shipped I noticed that it no longer exists in their Sept & Oct
: catalogues, replaced by the 8600 -- same chassis with centrino.

: What is a smart purchase today?

A smart purchase is one that fulfills your needs *TODAY*. It's silly
to think about your future possible needs because the value of a
laptop sinks so quickly no matter what you do...

So, what do you need today? Will you ever use your laptop on the
road? Will you ever use it when you need the battery to last a long
time or when you will have it on your lap (some P4-based laptops get
really hot)?

As you must know, Centrino's big advantage is the low power
consumption of it's Pentium M CPU, which allows much longer battery
life and a cooler design. The first Centrino machines were expensive
but are starting to come down - probably much more after Christmas.
It didn't make sense at first to get Centrino unless you really needed
the battery life, but soon it won't make much difference.

I tried an early Toshiba Centrino laptop in April (and by now that
laptop would be about as obsolete as the much cheaper Celeron machine
I got instead). The biggest problem I had with it was that it was
very slow in converting RAW images from my Canon digital camera. I'm
willing to concede that this early machine may have had problems
unrelated to basic CPU speed, because most Pentium M benchmarks show
it performs well compared to a higher-frequency Pentium 4. But this
task (RAW image conversion) was important to me, and my 2GHZ Celeron
converts the images much faster than that 1.3GHZ Pentium M/Centrino
machine did.

I do use my Celeron laptop in coffee shops with WiFi all the time, and
even though the battery life is only about two hours, I can usually
find a power outlet anyway. Places like Starbucks seem to be aware of
this and thus have gone out of their way to add power outlets in their
stores. A Centrino would certainly be more convenient - I hope my
next laptop will be a Centrino, provided my RAW conversion tests show
it works fast enough at that time.

Andrew

  #4  
Old November 12th 03, 11:00 PM
David Chien
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In general, (tech report benchmarks), a 1.4Ghz P-M runs about the same
speed as a desktop 2Ghz P4 processor; a 1.7Ghz P-M runs about the same
as a 2.4Ghz P4 processor.

battery life is longer on the P-M machines however.

So:
Speed #1: desktop P4 CPU as fast as you can get it.
Battery life #1: P-M CPU in a laptop that benchmarks with long test results.

  #5  
Old November 13th 03, 12:11 AM
Erick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Whelan" wrote in message
...
Is the Centrino the smart choice for all of us who are buying a laptop

these
days?
Does it make a laptop purchased today with an older processor obsolete
before its time?

Or is it just appropriate for the Mobile segment of the market, not the
Desktop Replacement segment?

[snip]

What is a smart purchase today?
Nan


I would have to say for longevity and battery life... go with the Pentium-M
(or Centrino if it includes Intel's WiFi chipset). Personally, I wouldn't
tie myself to the internal WiFi as I like to keep my options open, and
Centrino WiFi does not have 802.11g yet.

Erick
--
http://www.gadtronics.com


  #6  
Old November 13th 03, 03:17 AM
Andrew
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In comp.sys.laptops Erick wrote:
: I would have to say for longevity and battery life... go with the Pentium-M
: (or Centrino if it includes Intel's WiFi chipset). Personally, I wouldn't
: tie myself to the internal WiFi as I like to keep my options open, and
: Centrino WiFi does not have 802.11g yet.

Nothing wrong with an Internal WiFi card; the Centrino wireless card
currently is just an Intel Pro/2100 wireless card plugged into the
mini-PCI slot. My Toshiba 1415 (not a Centrino) has the same slot,
which is very simple to get to (one screw on the bottom opens the
compartment), and I installed the WiFi card myself. Connecting the
internal antenna was the hardest part; disconnecting it would be the
hardest part of replacing my 802.11b card later with an 802.11g card.
As I understand it, a Centrino laptop would be similar.

It's really nice not having the WiFi card sticking out the side of the
laptop!

Andrew
--
---- Portland, Oregon, USA ----
************************************************** *****************
---- http://www.bizave.com ---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
---- To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
************************************************** *****************

  #7  
Old November 13th 03, 03:27 AM
Timmy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

X-No-Archive: yes

"Erick" wrote in message
...

"Whelan" wrote in message
...
Is the Centrino the smart choice for all of us who are buying a laptop

these
days?
Does it make a laptop purchased today with an older processor obsolete
before its time?

Or is it just appropriate for the Mobile segment of the market, not the
Desktop Replacement segment?

[snip]

What is a smart purchase today?
Nan


I would have to say for longevity and battery life... go with the

Pentium-M
(or Centrino if it includes Intel's WiFi chipset). Personally, I wouldn't
tie myself to the internal WiFi as I like to keep my options open, and
Centrino WiFi does not have 802.11g yet.

Erick
--
http://www.gadtronics.com


I agree. I just got an 8600 and the battery life is good compared to other
laptops I have used in the past. PC and Powerbooks. My 1.7Ghz is pretty
fast, but I actually think my Gateway 2Ghz Pentium 4 desktop with a little
less memory is a little faster. It's close anyway. Long battery life is
great to have and you can put a couple of batteries in the 8600s and really
go for a long time. Dell's customer service has plummeted in the past few
years however. If they spent more on customer service than on those stupid
commercials they run on TV incessantly, they would probably have a fatter
bottom line and happier customers.


  #8  
Old November 14th 03, 01:31 AM
Morey G.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

My two cents:
I have a recently-purchased (Sept) Inspiron 5150 with the P4 Mobile (or was
that Mobile P4??) 3.06GHz chip. I've got both the internal WiFi 1300 Mini
PCI and PCMCIA Linksys WPC54G (MUCH better range) and the battery life
compared to my older Toshiba Sat Pro 6000 is GREAT. I get a good couple of
hours with the WiFi going and running all kinds of spreadsheets and
graphics stuff (technical term).
As for obsolescence, the I5150 P4 Mobile is now coming with Hyperthreading
technology. If only I'd waited.....but then, I'd still be waiting.
I went for the 5150 because I wanted a desktop replacement package that I
can lug around and I wanted the incredibly nice UXGA 15" LCD (Sharp
Electronics). I don't mind the weight and as I stated above battery life is
pretty decent. If you want to save space and weight, go Centrino, otherwise
I don't think performance suffers the other way.
Regards,
Morey G
Inspiron 5150
Dimension 4500, Dimension 4300, Dimension 4100, Toshiba Sat Pro 6000, Axim
X5400MHz
"Timmy" wrote in message
...
X-No-Archive: yes

"Erick" wrote in message
...

"Whelan" wrote in message
...
Is the Centrino the smart choice for all of us who are buying a

laptop
these
days?
Does it make a laptop purchased today with an older processor

obsolete
before its time?

Or is it just appropriate for the Mobile segment of the market, not

the
Desktop Replacement segment?

[snip]

What is a smart purchase today?
Nan


I would have to say for longevity and battery life... go with the

Pentium-M
(or Centrino if it includes Intel's WiFi chipset). Personally, I

wouldn't
tie myself to the internal WiFi as I like to keep my options open, and
Centrino WiFi does not have 802.11g yet.

Erick
--
http://www.gadtronics.com


I agree. I just got an 8600 and the battery life is good compared to

other
laptops I have used in the past. PC and Powerbooks. My 1.7Ghz is pretty
fast, but I actually think my Gateway 2Ghz Pentium 4 desktop with a

little
less memory is a little faster. It's close anyway. Long battery life is
great to have and you can put a couple of batteries in the 8600s and

really
go for a long time. Dell's customer service has plummeted in the past few
years however. If they spent more on customer service than on those

stupid
commercials they run on TV incessantly, they would probably have a fatter
bottom line and happier customers.




  #9  
Old November 14th 03, 03:45 AM
timeOday
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Andrew wrote:


Nothing wrong with an Internal WiFi card; the Centrino wireless card
currently is just an Intel Pro/2100 wireless card plugged into the
mini-PCI slot.


Well, I can tell you one thing wrong with it, no linux support. I got a T40
without Intel's wifi for this reason. (Are you listening Intel? I thought
not).

 




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