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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  • stmok - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link

    I admit it, I have no use for the Weener (Windows) keys. Its a pointless feature to have if you use other OSs or migrating AWAY from Windows. Its like Nvidia's chipset firewall solution...Another pointless feature for "Windows Only" users. (Which causes more trouble than its really worth).

    With Lenovo adopting all these "everyone else has it" features, its not the same ThinkPad anymore. They don't stand out technologically, like they used to.

    Granted, the fingerprint scanner and keyboard light is interesting, but that's all there is. My old R40 ThinkPad has a keyboard light as well. So I guess the only thing is the fingerprint scanner.

    As for ThinkVantage, that is useful...To some extent.

    I tried to "clean restore" WinXP from the hidden partition (as Windows requires a clean installation after 2 or more years of use), and I get a crapload of errors. The Trackpoint or Touchpad seem to be no longer detected, and so on. And other error messages. I couldn't get past finishing the install. So I unhid that WinXP Partition, and formatted the sucker clean, gained 8GB back of HDD space. Which is enough for a quadriple boot...Win2k, Slackware, FreeBSD and Solaris. (And they all work fine with the Trackpoint/Touchpad).
    Reply
  • Scarceas - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link

    I think Apple will focus their Intel support on the Yonah designs. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Mac Mini or something that was essentially a Yonah desktop.

    And I am quite glad that IBM/Lenovo are finally putting a Windows key on their Thinkpads!

    Hope that carries over to their rack-mount KVM's, as well. Drives me nuts....
    Reply
  • littlebitstrouds - Friday, January 6, 2006 - link

    I wanna see a desktop board with this chip in it... then overclock the heck out of it. I bet that thing would scream. Reply
  • raskren - Friday, January 6, 2006 - link

    Hmmm...

    Looks like an extremely competitive if not flat-out better Intel solution.

    So where is Beenthere's a.k.a. CRAMITPAL's canned comment?
    Reply
  • stateofbeasley - Sunday, January 8, 2006 - link

    The fanboi is probably too demoralized to come out and troll. The numbers don't lie -- Core Duo is fast and efficient, and the Centrino Duo stuff is going to make Intel a pile of money.

    Beenthere tried to claim the opposite in his comments re the AnandTech preview, and he got run over like a Prescott in the way of an Athlon 64. Come to think of it, Beenthere's claims about Core Duo were about as stupid as claiming Prescott >>> Athlon 64.
    Reply
  • uly - Friday, January 6, 2006 - link

    "Intel 3945ABG Wireless solution"
    "starting to look at platforms and solutions"
    "the 3945ABG wireless solution is what is known as"
    "915 chipset and 2915ABG wireless solution"
    "wireless solutions have both been undergoing reductions"
    "Pricing (with 945GM chipset and wireless solution)"
    "it did give us a nice solution"

    Another definition of 'solution' is something that is diluted or watered down. Wonder if Intel appreciates having their products looked upon from that perspective. (cred: buzzkiller dot net)

    Anand, whenever you find yourself about to type 'solution' in the future, please think, do I really want to sound like I'm copying from the presskit?

    Other than that, nice review.
    Reply
  • raskren - Friday, January 6, 2006 - link

    You read this hunting for the word "solution." Please, this is part of everyday speech, not a buzzword. Reply
  • uly - Friday, January 6, 2006 - link

    It's part of everyday speech - for PR guys. It's also pretentious - the customer should decide the solution for himself.

    > You read this hunting for the word "solution."

    No, I read it and buzzwords like solution kept popping out at me, so I used grep to do a quick wordcount. Seven times repeating mindless marketing drivel! C'mon Anand, I know you can write better than this.
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Friday, January 6, 2006 - link

    The inside meant that this computer had an Intel chip inside meaning better performance than those other people, way back in 1993, not that Intel focused on the insides of the computer.

    Watch it and this will actually be bad for them. All those people won't even recognize the intel they knew with the new logo. "Leap Ahead"? How original.
    Reply
  • henroldus - Friday, January 6, 2006 - link

    the only mistake in this excellent article is that they use the wrong memory with ddr2-533.
    the new core Duo supports DDR2-667.
    I am wrong when I mean that this could be a bottleneck?
    maybe the performance will raise with this memory but also the powerconsumption because of the higher frequency.
    Reply

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