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Intel Centrino 2: Montevina platform 'good to go'

After a slight whoopsie daisy that delayed the launch, Intel officially introduced its new Centrino 2 platform last night in San Francisco

Despite a minor blip that held up the launch by three weeks, Intel officially introduced its new Centrino 2 platform at a press event in San Francisco last night.

Apparently, the delay was due to a US certification issue with the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard used in the platform and problems with the integrated graphics feature. Happily, Mooly Eden, Intel's vice president and general manager of the mobile platforms group, said the company was 'good to go' on the platform codenamed 'Montevina'.

The Centrino 2 platform comes in two flavours, one for consumers and one with Intel's vPro technology for business customers.

Intel is touting Centrino 2's high-definition media capability, set up to enhance Blu-ray playback. The company says it will help a laptop's battery last 2 hours, which for many films means you can see the entire HD movie without having to stick to the mains.

There are five new processors available within the Centrino 2 family. At the event, Intel made a big show of its Core2 Extreme Mobile Processor X9100, which it says is the 'highest performing mobile processor'. Intel has removed overclock protection and generally tuned it to impress gamers, demonstrating the PC version of Assassin's Creed on a laptop with the Extreme Mobile Processor.

Intel is also introducing an option in which the same laptop can switch between using discrete graphics, which are battery intensive and loved by gamers, and integrated graphics, which reduces the power drain on the PC.

Intent on pleasing mobile PC users, the Centrino 2 platform will balance power efficiency and faster processing. The 'secret sauce', said Intel's Eden, is a feature they are calling HUGI, which stands for 'Hurry Up and Get Idle'. Sounds like a typical day of London bus travel, if you ask us.

The company says it will enable the new 2.8GHz processor to consume 60 per cent less electricity than its 2.33GHz processor on a single task, and it will get that task done 30 seconds faster.

Also in Centrino 2, 802.11n Wi-Fi will be standard. Intel says to expect five times faster wireless connections and twice the range, but to get ready for WiMax. Though not available immediately, future versions of Centrino 2 will come with built-in WiMax capability. Stay tuned to Crave for details of the latest Centrino 2 laptops. -Erica Ogg