With the wide screen notebooks from Apple, mobile PC system vendors have caught on to this market. The benefits of widescreen aren't fully appreciated by average users, but for multimedia functions and the need for additional screen space to view everything, this becomes really invaluable.

As it is with most things concerning mobile, wide screen notebooks encounter two problems: size and battery life. With wide screen notebooks, obviously, the screen size is going to be wider than normal (and often times, overall larger). This creates a problem for system designers who are typing to create a system that emphasizes mobility. The second is really a by-product of the first, just because screen size and dimensions directly affect battery life. Since wide screen notebooks fit the need of multimedia users, brightness settings, as well as other quality settings, need to be, at a minimum, up to par with normal screen specifications. Coupled with this is the need to enjoy the visual “feel” of the wide screen environment, which inherently creates a bad formula for a low battery life. However, this was a barrier that could be overcome easily. With the advent of Centrino, power consumption on the processor and other integrated components were lost as a concern for the design of a battery conscientious notebook. This weight of power consumption, then, was available to be shifted off to other devices, such as displays.

Of the wide screen notebooks available, Dell created some stir by introducing the Inspiron 8600 in late August, which is supposed to be the successor to the Inspiron 8500. For Dell, this is currently labeled as their highest end desktop replacement notebook. For us, the Inspiron 8600 could fall under two different designations: a mainstream desktop replacement notebook or a high-end mobile notebook. The reason we don't clearly define it as a desktop replacement notebook is because it doesn't use desktop components: processor, hard drive, etc. As a by-product of using the higher spectrum of mobile components, specifically Centrino technology, the Inspiron 8600 can be considered a high-end mobile notebook.

Construction - Build, Appearance, Size


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  • Andrew Ku - Saturday, October 11, 2003 - link

    Hey bud :), I don't recall 386 processors in notebooks that used sockets... In fact, only recently have notebooks on such a wide scale used molex socket designs to house processors, and this is more for the ease of scalability and or the need to use desktop components. Remember that when you are talking about the mobile side of pcs, often times it becomes an entirely different ball park than when compared to the desktop side.

    Btw, if you are refering to the use of "molex," it is a technically correct term. Additionally, we did not write "molex connectors." If you read page 4, you will see that we instead wrote "molex socket."
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 11, 2003 - link

    I just wonder when CPU's went from using sockets ," as they have done since the 386" , to using molex connectors as refered to in the article , should technical writers proof read more ????

  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 10, 2003 - link

    The 7200 rpm uses less power if used over time..indicated by the write wattage.
    Here's a quick comparison of wattage use from the previous 60GB/5400 rpm model vs the 7K60/7200 rpm model:

    60GB/5400 RPM vs 60GB/7200 RPM:
    Max (startup/spinup) - 5W vs 5.5W
    Seek (avg): 2.6W for both
    Read (avg): 2.5W for both
    Write (avg): 2.7W vs 2.5W
    (7K60 slightly lower)
    Performance idle (avg): 2.0W for both
    Active idle (avg): 1.3W for both
    Sleep: 0.1W for both
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 10, 2003 - link

    well if you guys are looking for m10's in laptops you can try looking here:


    you can also try http://pctorque.com, they have the same laptops as some of the ones on the ati site but a little cheaper i think (plus there's one that has an option for a 2x dvd-rw drive and a built in tv tuner :) (that's if you're willing to dish out upwards in about $3000US for it
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 10, 2003 - link

    # 4 If you want quality settings like FSAA & Aniso the ATI is much..much.. better.
    Also 2D graphics quality is on the ATI A LOT better!!
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 9, 2003 - link

    He meant for a monitor only, read more carfully Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 9, 2003 - link

    # 2 try 2300.00 w/out a M10 Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 9, 2003 - link

    Actually they are not nearley that expensive for the 17" wide screens. Samsung has one of the best, the 172w.


    Well, I have a 8600 on the way, wont ship until early november because dell claims the 1920x1200 screens will not be in until OCt 28.
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 9, 2003 - link

    I totally agree on the fact that Dell should offer a notebook with the Ati M10(p) !!!
    ...I live in Belgium ( Europe ) an dcannot find a "known" brand with an ATI M10(p) offer...
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 9, 2003 - link

    Yes there out there but pricey, a 17" $700 -800 on up... Reply

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