We have already taken a look at Dothan, which is basically an update of Banias, and it provides enough benefits and features to keep us happy with the Pentium-M platform. And as previously mentioned, the 2.0GHz Pentium-M 755 is easily the best chip that money can buy for a notebook. The increase performance and lower power consumption of Dothan clock for clock over Banias makes it better for notebook manufacturers seeking that thin and light, ultraportable, or traditional notebook form factor.

While notebooks with wide-aspect ratio displays continue, more or less, to flood the consumer market, there is still nothing like the good ol' 4:3 ratio display that generally marks the traditional notebook format - with which we are comfortable. These notebooks are still the bread and butter of the business, school, and all-purpose buyers. With three Dothan notebooks of the like in the labs, we decided to take a look at what the new Pentium-M is offering as a system, as opposed to the CPU itself.

Dell's Latitude D600

  • 2.0GHz Dothan Pentium-M 755
  • Intel 855PM chipset
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 w/32MB
  • 2 x 256MB Hynix PC2100
  • 4x DVD+RW/CD-RW (HL-DT-ST DVD+RW GCA-4040N)
  • 80GB Hitachi 4200RPM Hard Drive
  • 14.1" SXGA+ display (native 1400 x 1050)
  • Intel's 2200BG 802.11b/g WiFi card
  • Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet
  • Dell TrueMobile 300 Bluetooth
  • 6 cell primary battery (11.1V, 4.7AH, 53WH)
  • 6 cell modular bay battery (11.1V, 4.32AH, 48WH)

Gateway's M320XL

  • 1.7GHz Dothan Pentium-M 735
  • Intel 855GM chipset (w/32MB UMA memory - max setting)
  • 2 x 256MB Samsung PC2700
  • 4x DVD±RW/CD-RW (HL-DT-ST DVD+RW GWA-4040N)
  • 80GB Hitachi 4200RPM Hard Drive
  • 15.0" XGA display (native 024 x 768)
  • Intel's 2200BG 802.11b/g WiFi card
  • Intel 10/100 Ethernet
  • 6 cell primary battery (11.V, 4.4AH, 48WH)

HP/Compaq's Business NC6000 Notebook

  • 2.0GHz Dothan Pentium-M 755
  • Intel 855PM chipset
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 w/64MB
  • 2 x 256MB Samsung PC2700
  • 4x DVD+RW/CD-RW (HL-DT-ST DVD+RW GCA-4040N)
  • 60GB Hitachi 5400RPM Hard Drive
  • 14.1" SXGA+ display (native 1400 x 1050)
  • Intel's 2200BG 802.11b/g WiFi card
  • Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet
  • HP's Bluetooth
  • 8 cell primary battery (14.4V, 4.4AH, 63WH)
  • 8 cell modular bay battery (14.8AH, 3.6AH, 53WH)
While we would have liked to have received a 2.0GHz notebook from Gateway, the selection was limited, and we were unable to stretch uniform specifications across all platforms. Originally, we were planning for the 200XL, but Gateway took that off the market just as they were preparing to send that to us.

Dell Latitude D600: Construction – Build, Appearance, Size
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  • Monkeydonutstick - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    You can't be serious about comparing a Powerbook G4 to any of these. Powerbooks were owned by P3’s for Christ sake. Reply
  • plewis00 - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    I just wanted to point out as an nc6000 user that you didn't mention it's speakers (which as any Compaq user will know) are some of the best on any laptop - very rich with reasonable bass and strong volume, it easily rivals small stereos.

    Secondly, I don't think it's quite clear how much tougher the HP is than the Dell. I had both and pressing slightly on the Dell logo on the D600 would flex it down by about 3-4mm with very little pressure; the HP is far more robust, so it's size isn't that much of an issue (but the Dell is a bit of a headturner, the HP definitely isn't).

    Also (only a small point) but given the Dell's and HP's graphics cards, a small 3D-based test (3DMark2001 SE?) wouldn't have gone amiss [that's the reason I had these machines for their size and graphics]. In seriousness, with that Gateway, what are you going to do with a 1.7Ghz Dothan CPU if not game sometimes, or that you couldn't do with a Pentium III-M 850Mhz?
    Reply
  • manno - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    ksherman- "wheres the Macs? As far as im concerned, the Powerbook owns all these in terms of performance, size, weight, looks, and battery life... Its apparently even in the same price range as these "mid-sized" laptops... Bring on the Mac articles AT!"

    I have no clue about the technical aspect of the powerbooks size, weight, and battery life. But I do know you couldn't be more right about the looks... PLUS there's a Quake I... and I think a Quake II software renderer for Macs also... nudge nudge wink wink.
    Reply
  • manno - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    SOFTWARE renderer origianl "Half-Life" or "Quake 2". Preferably Half-Life. Their software reneder is more taxing than Quake 2's. Old school, yes, but it's not biased tward desktop, or laptop video cards.

    peace on!... Crakers!
    Reply
  • AndrewKu - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    #4 - Hopefully, we will get to that real soon. Reply
  • AndrewKu - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    #6 - Well, I hope we didn't knock it too much in the overall sense. But we are talking about the business user market segment, and we were putting more emphasis on the display more so than the other nic nacs. Reply
  • YaBaBom - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    I'm not a Gateway fan, but I think it's kind of silly to knock the Gateway laptop in the ratings because it doesn't have gigabit ethernet. Gigabit ethernet is nothing but a sales pitch as far as laptops are concerned, since the hard drives just arent capable of supplying data at gigabit speeds. I can tell you from experience that a D600 with gigabit doesnt transfer any faster than a C640 with 10/100 ethernet. Reply
  • brainwave64 - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    Great review! Very informative. It's hard to find good reviews of laptops that take into account things other than performance - like ergonomics, LED locations, battery life, weight, size, etc.

    --paperboy164
    Reply
  • ksherman - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    wheres the Macs? As far as im concerned, the Powerbook owns all these in terms of performance, size, weight, looks, and battery life... Its apparently even in the same price range as these "mid-sized" laptops... Bring on the Mac articles AT! Reply
  • AndrewKu - Thursday, September 30, 2004 - link

    #1 - A64 based laptops, at least so far, are those best reserved for the DTR market, and thus are focused on the performance aspect of the notebook market. If you want mobility, get a P-M based notebook.

    As for half-life or other gaming applications, one of these notebooks uses Intel's integrated graphic's system, so that wasn't something that was practical, and of the other two that use discrete GPUs, one uses a DX8 mobile graphics part.

    #2 - Well... As far as weight and the general specs go, I think the whole market is becoming more and more grey. We will be back with a thin and light side of the Dothan market.
    Reply

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