The first products based on Transmeta's long-awaited Crusoe chip--laptops from Sony and Hitachi--have finally been shipped. But most people should probably wait awhile before buying these and other Crusoe-based devices.
The Crusoe chip is certainly a
Crusoe-based computers are a major milestone for Transmeta and a critical step toward long-term viability for the company. Nonetheless, Crusoe-based devices will likely appeal most to a niche market: mobile users who want a small, light computing device but believe current personal digital assistants aren't powerful enough.
One concern is that current industry benchmarks do not offer an accurate assessment of Crusoe's hardware and software architecture, so product comparisons to traditional x86-based PCs are largely meaningless. Real-world experiences that gauge performance and battery life with standard applications will be the true test of whether Crusoe's performance--and ultimately its architecture--are acceptable.
Because of those unresolved issues, Gartner believes that Crusoe-based products are today appropriate only for niche requirements. Gartner recommends that other people wait until manufacturers have two full generations of proven Crusoe-based product under their belts before seriously considering them.
(For related commentary on Transmeta's Crusoe chip, see TechRepublic.com--free registration required.)
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