New Intel CPUs are chip off old block

Intel Corp. this week introduced three new processors for mobile PCs – one Pentium, and two Celeron – providing users with more choices in performance when it comes to mobile computing.

The Mobile Pentium 4 processor – M is at 2.5GHz, compared to the last version of the 4M at 2.4GHz, and is designed for use in desktop replacement portable PCs. Users of these computers are generally what Toronto-based Doug Cooper, country manager, Intel of Canada calls “portability” users.

“They’re really that plug-to-plug kind of user,” Cooper said. “They’re really looking for a smaller desktop, they want the CD writer, the DVD player, they want the large display, and they don’t really care so much about how heavy it is or how long the battery lasts because they really don’t spend a lot of time untethered.”

The other class of mobile computing users are what Cooper calls “mobility users.” These users usually spend most of the day connected wirelessly to the corporate LAN and thus require wireless capabilities, lots of battery power, high performance and a lightweight unit. For these users, Intel developed the Centrino chip – the Pentium M that was launched in March.

In contrast to the mobility users, portability users don’t require the wireless functionality built into the Centrino chip, but still want excellent performance, without the Centrino price. That’s where the 4M comes in, Cooper said.

“It does do some power management, so you do get your two hours worth of battery, but it’s not able to deliver five hours without adding a lot of extra batteries to it,” he added.

While mobility users are becoming more pervasive, Cooper said there is still a huge bulk of portability users, and Intel will be continue to design chips that are suitable for both markets.

The new Celeron chips are at 2.2GHz and 1.26GHz respectively that for users who want mobility and fit the portability profile, but are on a budget, Cooper said.

“So, they are prepared to trade off performance and flexibility of the Pentium 4M…that’s where Celeron comes in. “It gets good performance for doing typical office applications,” he said, however it wouldn’t be good for a lot of multi-tasking.

The previous Celeron chip was at 2.0GHz, and Intel also added a new 1.26GHz chip so customers would have more options with levels of performance.

Sold in 1,000 unit quantities, the Pentium 4M is priced at US$562, the Celeron 2.0GHz is priced at US$149, and the Celeron 1.26GHz is priced at US$107 and are already available.

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