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.

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  • olberd - Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - link

    I've bought a Dell 8600c and I'm wondering if I can use generic SODIMM 200pin RAM for it, or I must use the more expensive RAM from kingston specifically designed for it.

    Some computer resellers tell me that I must use the kingston RAM 5150 for Dell. But a Dell supporter told me that standard RAM will do as well.

    I understand that some notebooks are made with customized RAM modules. This makes spare parts more expensive and thus makes it an interesting note to add in the review of a notebook computer.

  • Duddy - Friday, November 26, 2004 - link

    I just purchased an 8600 from Dell.com and the option for a Mobility Radeon 9600 was there and I ordered it. :)


    Total came out to be around $1800 plus 20% off all Inspiron notebooks. I paid exactly $1,516.40.

  • akodi - Thursday, November 6, 2003 - link

    I bought a dell 8500 last week and am typing on it currently, it is the most awesome laptop I have ever used, the screen is super sharp (15.4 sxga+) to tell you the truth 1900x1200 would be way too small, 1680x1050 is preemo, so much damn realestate. I had a centrino but wasn't too impressed (600m) battery life was not that much better than a standard p4m, perhaps only a difference of a half hour. Being a college student at Cal I believe the 8500 is perfect, because at the library there are many power outlets so battery life isn't an issue, also if you plug in a wlan card you can use it in the library without a hitch (preemo bandwidth). On the video card issue, I wouldn't want to play games on a laptop not because of the graphics but mainly for the sound quality...sigmatel in my opinion is not kosher on the ears. Long live the forums and dell stackable coupons.
  • Andrew Ku - Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - link

    Sony, doesn't sell in the same volumes as Dell. Toshiba was the first to market with the Go56x0 (we mentioned this in the M10 and NV31M head to head). However, this was mainly with the Japanese market. This is also the case with Sony, as they are not widespread domestically. We didn't say that the 8600 was the first with NV31M; we said it was the first mainstream laptop with NV31M. This is in the context of the domestic market and demographics.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 18, 2003 - link

    Just wanted to correct an error in the article. The Dell is not the first laptop with the Geforce FX 5600go. In fact I'm typing on a laptop that has one in it right now - a laptop I bought 3 months ago. The Sony Vaio GRT170. Just thought I'd let you know.
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 16, 2003 - link

    Somebody know EUROCOM notebooks?? are they good quality? They have "nice" notebooks wit m10p
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 16, 2003 - link

    nice photoshop art in my opinion... otherwise Andrew Ku would aahve known this don't you think????
  • Anonymous User - Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - link


    This scan shows a Dell 8600 with a mobility Radeon 9600XT (128mb). It does not show up on any of the dell sites I visited (French, Dutch, English). Is this a hoax or a dream come true?
  • Anonymous User - Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - link

    Whatever... Dell is bull....
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, October 12, 2003 - link

    I must apollogize Mr Ku , I do seem to be wrong on certain facts there , but for my interest , would you kindly explain where the term Molex comes into mbile processing ,as it also refers to the electrical connector for a hard drive(or so I have been told/taught ) . As for Mobile processing often been entirely diffrent park , doesn't a desktop replacement laptop like , say a dell 8600 user a Pentuim-M chip , which uses 478 PPGA Flip - chip 2 array , just likes its desktop brother , the same that can be found in certain laptops as well , ? and doesn't Laptops use 333MHz DDR -Ram (albiet in SO-DIMM format ) , latest GPU'S , 7200 RPM hardrives , and some even with RAID systems . Please would you clarify this , as I am not challenging you , just simply asking ?

    Bandwidth Boy

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