Final Words

It’s tough to argue with the numbers - at worst, Intel’s Centrino Duo platform offers the same battery life as the previous generation Centrino, while outperforming it.  But at best, Centrino Duo can not only offer better performance than last year’s notebooks, but also longer battery life. 

You really can’t get say anything else - you get better performance, longer battery life and all of this at the same price as last year’s notebooks; Centrino Duo is a no-brainer and it is quite possibly the strongest step into a new year that we have seen from Intel in a very long time. 

One thing that is very important to keep in mind is that with the Centrino Duo we finally have all of the benefits of a multiprocessor system now in a notebook.  That means all of the performance benefits in multithreaded applications as well as the definite reduction in system response time while multitasking are now available to notebook users.  While we were very convinced of the move to dual core on the desktop, it may even make more of an impact on the mobile side.  The impact on response time, especially when multitasking, is tremendous and quite perceivable.  Notebooks are still quite disk limited, but the impact of going to dual core is big enough to be very noticeable. 

Honestly our only complaint is about availability.  The launch does not seem to be as well put together as previous Centrino launches, with availability varying dramatically depending on which manufacturer you talk to.  The fact that the only production quality notebooks we were able to secure were from ASUS and not from HP, Gateway, Dell or Lenovo tells us that these things aren’t ready just yet.  Intel’s Mooly Eden once told us that you should never launch a new microarchitecture along with a new manufacturing process, but with the Core Duo it seems that they may have done just that.  We’d tend to believe that the fact that Intel’s 65nm process is just now ramping up is a large part of the reason why we don’t have many Centrino Duo notebooks in house today.  However, just about all of the aforementioned manufacturers will be demonstrating their Core Duo notebooks at the show and we’ve already got a couple promised to us after the show, so it does look like you’ll be able to start getting your hands on these things in the relatively near future.  

When all is said and done, we can chalk Centrino Duo up to another win for Intel’s Israel team, who is quickly racking up a serious track record over there.  While we know that Intel’s next-generation desktop and server micro-architectures will be based off of the work that the Israel team has done with the Pentium M and Core Duo, we can’t help but think that Intel probably should’ve handed them the reins a little earlier. 

While we would normally have finished our review on the previous page, we were given the opportunity to preview another Centrino Duo notebook - the IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T60.  The Thinkpad T series has long been a favorite among businesses, on the coming pages you’ll get an early look at the model that will be carrying the torch going forward. 

Battery Life - Wireless Web Browsing Lenovo Thinkpad T60 Preview
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  • Shark Tek - Thursday, January 5, 2006 - link

    Lets hope that AMD release Turion's X2 with a even more reduced power consumption and DDR2 support that will be really "Sweet".

    Se imaginan un Turion64 X2 o un Core Duo combinado con un x1800 Mobility Radeon eso seria la combinacion perfecta para 'Lan Parties'. Sin la necesidad de andar con equipo pesado.

    Can you imagine a notebook with Turion X2 or Core Duo matched with a X1800 Mobility Radeon. That will be the perfect combination for Lan-Parties. Without the need for carrying heavy parts from your Desktop @ home.

    Just imagine that ....
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, January 5, 2006 - link

    Very impressive.
  • monsoon - Thursday, January 5, 2006 - link

    yeah, me too i'm curious about the Apple products coming with Yonah, and how they stack up to X2 athlons PC Yonah notebooks...

    ...and overclocking !!!

    PS - BTW did you try to overclock the ASUS Yonah notebook ?
  • PeteRoy - Thursday, January 5, 2006 - link

  • Doormat - Thursday, January 5, 2006 - link

    Page loads took forever but the review was interesting.

    I'm still interested to see what Apple does with these chips in their iBooks next week.

    The battery life of the T60 was impressive - 227 minutes for DVD playback. Finally, I can watch an LOTR episode on one battery!

    The release of only 1 single core chip speaks volumes - intel is ditching single core chips when they can. They want to push dual core hard.
  • Calin - Friday, January 6, 2006 - link

    In DVD playback the DVD unit consume some of the power... I wonder if playing a DVD from a virtual drive or from a network would prolong battery life
  • Furen - Thursday, January 5, 2006 - link

    Very lovely power consumption. I suppose power consumption will be a bit higher when both cores are at 100% usage but most of us dont keep our CPU usage pegged at 100% when using a notebook and specially not if we care about power consumption at all. It'd be nice if Intel had decided to go to 90nm on the chipsets but I suppose their power consumption is not that high to begin with and Intel needs a use for its 130nm fabs...
  • Calin - Friday, January 6, 2006 - link

    off course the power consumption will be higher with both cores at 100% usage - but in this case the "work per watt" is greater, as processors don't use all the power in the system.
    Just that people would prefer a laptop that consume a battery charge faster but finish the work much faster than the other way around.
  • cheburashka - Thursday, January 5, 2006 - link

    Intel's chipset shortage problem is because all current MCH's are still on 130nm, which is maxed out in the fabs. They would love to get the 90nm Broadwater/Crestline chips out the door to free up 130nm capacity to build low end parts again.

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