Intel's 'œCentrino 2' blasts off into a notebook near you at last
Now, five years later, despite underlying updates to the Centrino platform in the meantime, “Centrino 2” has finally launched promising the most speed, other important features and the best power savings ever.
Notebook sales in Australia have also finally outpaced desktop sales, something predicted for the last few years but actually now happening, with Q1 2008 sales of notebook in Australia at 50.3%, while desktops came in at 49.7% on average.
That was explained as Australia being an early adopter country, with some Australian retail outlets seeing up to 90% notebook purchases over desktop models, according to Philip Cronin, General Manager of Intel for Australia and New Zealand.
On a worldwide basis, the figure still favours desktops, but only slightly, with desktop at 52% and notebooks at 48%, on average, out of a total pool of 302 million units to be purchased, but by 2011 analyst firm IDC predicts that notebook sales will rise to 59%, with desktops at 41%.
Importantly, Intel points out that IDC predicts total computer sales of 423 million in 2011, showing the pie of computer sales growing ever larger, too, something that is natural in an ever more technological world, despite economic slowdowns, although Intel made no mention of that particular global phenomenon at its press event to launch Centrino 2.
From today, three Centrino 2 powered models from different vendors will be available from Australian retailer “Harvey Norman”, with the cheapest priced for AUD $1399.
To help retail customers understand which Core 2 Duo processor within Centrino 2 notebooks would deliver greater performance, Intel was instigating a 2, 3 and 4 star rating system to give an “at-a-glance” performance rating, although specific processor numbers and gigahertz speeds would also be available in the marketing information placed beside each notebook at retail for those who wanted specific details.
Almost 250 consumer and business models are on the way from all the major vendors, with 5 new “Core 2 Duo” processors within the Centrino 2 platform released today, and another 8 models due within 90 days for different market segments, from ultra portables to true desktop replacement notebooks.
While that means a total of 13 new processors within 90 days, Intel has a 14th coming too after that, for a complete lineup of processors to take it through the last 6 months of 2008 and beyond.
While at least one quad-core processor is on the way, Intel’s fastest mobile processor right now is the Core 2 Extreme processor running at 3.06Ghz – the X9100. Intel is allowing this processor to be officially overclocked by end-users seeking the best performance from games and other computationally/graphically intense applications and processes.
So, what specific new features does the Centrino 2, based on the “Montevina” platform bring? How much faster and more energy efficient is it that the 2007 Centrino platform called “Santa Rosa”?
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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.