Most updated Intel Centrino machines should have an Intel 2200b/g option by now. I just bought a retail Compaq X1360US 1.4 Pentium M
(X1000 series, HPZT3000 series is the same thing except for case appearance)at Circuit City and it has the updated mini/pci card.If you are finding the Intel 2100b still you are likely buying a prebuilt machine that has been on the shelf for a few months.
With that said, you can swap out the minipci card yourself later and they are not that expensive (only about $30)
Also, people have already told me on X1000forums.com that I cannot take advantage of the G standard over the B anyways as my DSL connection limits the speed I can download over the internet whether my wi-fi can go faster or not. The increased speed allows you to do high speed file transfers between machines on a network though.
If you are ordering on the HP/Compaq hpshopping.com site you can specify the components you want. Nearly all off the shelf machines that are recent have the Intel 2200g/b card so again you must be looking at an older model if this is a sticking point (but custom ordering will eliminate this issue).
Many people on my forums site put in their own minipci cards anyway but they have had some problems updating the bios as only certain cards are supported now due to some FCC standards (at least for HP/Compaq and IBM).
Also, if you order HP/Compaq or Dell custom through the Costco website they give you the same options and a small additional discount (and any valid rebates) and you have a 6 month return policy for any reason (defective or not) with no restocking fee.
If you have a chance and are near a Circuit City, check out the Toshiba M35S320 and the Compaq X1360US and let me know what you think. They are both 6.2-6.5 pounds, 15.4" widescreen, and have 32mb dedicated video, CD-rw/DVD, 60mb hard drive (although 4200rpm) and intel 2200b/g.
But you can upgrade to the 64mb video card, 5400 hard drive, etc on the HP/Compaq site or you can buy the upgraded Dothan 1.7 Toshiba prebuilt at the Toshiba web site ---check it out (Compaq custom is X1000 series or HPZT3000 series and Toshiba is M35 series).
The big thing now is get the video memory you want now (as you cannot upgrade the video memory only the system RAM) and get a Dothan Pentium M if you can as it has 2x the system cache as older Banias Chips. The Dothan line will be identified by a 7xx number like 735 Pentium 1.7 which the older Banias is Pentium 1.5 no number.........
I am buying a Pentium M laptop, and would ideally like it to have g wireless. But my two options are the Intel PRO 802.11 b or a MiniPCI Card 802.11 bg. I think the Intel wireless would make the laptop a "centrino" laptop, which would save on battery, but it doesn't have the g capability. What would be the drawback in getting the bg PCI Card? Does it really make that much of a difference if my laptop isn't a Centrino?