Intel gives notebook chips a boost

The chipmaker launches four new versions of its mobile Pentium 4 processor, all of which include hyperthreading, a feature that aids PCs in performing multiple simultaneous tasks.

John G. Spooner
John G. Spooner Staff Writer, CNET News.com
John Spooner
covers the PC market, chips and automotive technology.
2 min read
Intel on Tuesday added to its fleet of mobile Pentium 4 processors for consumer-oriented notebook PCs.

The chipmaker launched four new versions of the mobile processor, all of which include hyperthreading, a feature that aids PCs in performing multiple simultaneous tasks.

Intel introduced a 3.2GHz mobile Pentium 4 with hyperthreading--its fastest mobile chip to date--along with three others, which run at 2.6GHz, 2.8GHz and 3.06GHz. Aside from the hyperthreading, all are otherwise the same as mobile Pentium 4s currently available from Intel.

The chipmaker normally would pitch its Pentium M processor and Centrino chip package for notebooks, but it recently created the mobile Pentium 4 line to address a growing segment of consumer notebooks known as "desknotes." These machines have proven popular with consumers and small businesses that favor large screens and fast Pentium 4 processors over portability and battery life. Many desknote owners use their machines at home and operate them infrequently on battery power. These buyers often choose a 17-inch screen and care little if the machine's battery lasts only a couple of hours per charge.

Many desknote models currently use desktop Pentium 4 chips, but Intel has been offering the mobile Pentium 4 line to attempt to sway buyers from that option.

While many notebook makers are likely to continue offering desktop chips in their notebooks, some have adopted the new mobile Pentium 4s. Dell was one of the first manufacturers to use one of the new chips. The company added the 3.06GHz mobile Pentium 4 with hyperthreading to its Inspiron 5150 notebook on Tuesday.

The Inspiron, which also comes with a 15-inch screen, 256MB of RAM, a 30GB hard drive and a DVD-ROM drive, starts at $1,599, Dell said.

The four new Intel mobile Pentium 4 chips, running at 2.6GHz, 2.8GHz, 3.06GHz and 3.2GHz will list for $234, $294, $433 and $653, respectively, Intel said. That's only slightly more than their counterparts in the desktop Pentium 4 line. The mobile Pentium 4s also consume less power, making them more suitable for the confines of a notebook chassis, Intel has said.

Desktop Pentium 4s with hyperthreading that operate at the same or similar clock speed list for $218, $278, $417 and $637, respectively.