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Cheaper Pentium Ms arrive

Intel launches two lower-price additions to its latest line of notebook processors.

Intel on Wednesday delivered a pair of lower-price Pentium M chips as part of its latest line of notebook processors.

The chipmaker added the Pentium M 715 and the Pentium M 725, which run at 1.5GHz and 1.6GHz, respectively, to its recently introduced Pentium M 700 series of notebook chips. The 715 and 725 follow the launch last month of Intel's Pentium M 735, 745 and 755, which run at speeds of 1.7GHz to 2GHz.

The 700 series Pentium Ms are made with new underpinnings: a 90-nanometer processor design dubbed Dothan, which Intel has said offers a performance boost over its preceding Pentium M design, dubbed Banias. Like the other 700-series chips, the new 715 and 725 will also be offered as part of Intel's Centrino chip bundle for wireless notebooks.

Several PC makers added the Pentium M 715 to their notebook lines on Wednesday.

Toshiba incorporated the chip into its Tecra A2, a notebook designed for businesses. The Tecra model pairs the Pentium M 715 with a 15-inch screen, 512MB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive and a combination CD burner/DVD-ROM drive for $1,599. The machine also uses Intel's 802.11b/g Wi-Fi module and chipset, making it a Centrino notebook.

Gateway will make the Pentium M 715 available as an option on its Gateway M275 tablet PC, the low-price Gateway M405 and the performance-oriented Gateway 450, a company representative said.

The 715 and 725 list for $209 and $241, respectively--the same price as Intel's previous Pentium M 1.5GHz and 1.6GHz chips--when purchased in 1,000 unit quantities. Intel often prices new chips the same as existing ones in order to encourage PC makers to quickly make the changeover.

The addition of the two processors means that the bulk of Intel's Pentium M line, everything except for its low-power Pentium Ms, has been moved to Dothan underpinnings.