Is Centrino the smart choice for all laptop purchases?

Discussion in 'Gateway' started by Whelan, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. Whelan

    Whelan Guest

    Is the Centrino the smart choice for all of us who are buying a laptop these
    days?
    Does it make a laptop purchased today with an older processor obsolete
    before its time?

    Or is it just appropriate for the Mobile segment of the market, not the
    Desktop Replacement segment?

    I'm confused.
    I got conflicting advice yesterday from Gateway. I stopped in a store to see
    their models and a salesman said I didn't need Centrino -- that was just for
    travelers. He may have had an inventory there to sell. I came home and
    looked up the model (500) on their website, but it's gone, replaced by a
    similar model with a centrino. Gateway's Online Chat sales rep recommended
    centrino.
    Along the same lines, 12 days ago I ordered a Dell 8500 -- then right after
    it shipped I noticed that it no longer exists in their Sept & Oct
    catalogues, replaced by the 8600 -- same chassis with centrino.

    What is a smart purchase today?
    Nan
     
    Whelan, Nov 12, 2003
    #1
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  2. Whelan

    Andrew Guest

    : Is the Centrino the smart choice for all of us who are buying a laptop these
    : days?
    : Does it make a laptop purchased today with an older processor obsolete
    : before its time?

    : Or is it just appropriate for the Mobile segment of the market, not the
    : Desktop Replacement segment?

    : I'm confused.
    : I got conflicting advice yesterday from Gateway. I stopped in a store to see
    : their models and a salesman said I didn't need Centrino -- that was just for
    : travelers. He may have had an inventory there to sell. I came home and
    : looked up the model (500) on their website, but it's gone, replaced by a
    : similar model with a centrino. Gateway's Online Chat sales rep recommended
    : centrino.
    : Along the same lines, 12 days ago I ordered a Dell 8500 -- then right after
    : it shipped I noticed that it no longer exists in their Sept & Oct
    : catalogues, replaced by the 8600 -- same chassis with centrino.

    : What is a smart purchase today?

    A smart purchase is one that fulfills your needs *TODAY*. It's silly
    to think about your future possible needs because the value of a
    laptop sinks so quickly no matter what you do...

    So, what do you need today? Will you ever use your laptop on the
    road? Will you ever use it when you need the battery to last a long
    time or when you will have it on your lap (some P4-based laptops get
    really hot)?

    As you must know, Centrino's big advantage is the low power
    consumption of it's Pentium M CPU, which allows much longer battery
    life and a cooler design. The first Centrino machines were expensive
    but are starting to come down - probably much more after Christmas.
    It didn't make sense at first to get Centrino unless you really needed
    the battery life, but soon it won't make much difference.

    I tried an early Toshiba Centrino laptop in April (and by now that
    laptop would be about as obsolete as the much cheaper Celeron machine
    I got instead). The biggest problem I had with it was that it was
    very slow in converting RAW images from my Canon digital camera. I'm
    willing to concede that this early machine may have had problems
    unrelated to basic CPU speed, because most Pentium M benchmarks show
    it performs well compared to a higher-frequency Pentium 4. But this
    task (RAW image conversion) was important to me, and my 2GHZ Celeron
    converts the images much faster than that 1.3GHZ Pentium M/Centrino
    machine did.

    I do use my Celeron laptop in coffee shops with WiFi all the time, and
    even though the battery life is only about two hours, I can usually
    find a power outlet anyway. Places like Starbucks seem to be aware of
    this and thus have gone out of their way to add power outlets in their
    stores. A Centrino would certainly be more convenient - I hope my
    next laptop will be a Centrino, provided my RAW conversion tests show
    it works fast enough at that time.

    Andrew
    --
    ----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
    *******************************************************************
    ----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
    ----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
    *******************************************************************
     
    Andrew, Nov 12, 2003
    #2
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  3. Whelan

    Adam Guest

    Centrino or Pentuim m laptops are a better choice always- or nearly
    always, as long as you can afford one. If you don't need very long
    batteru life and don't mind the fan going on from time to time, you
    should be fine with a Celeron or Mobile Pentium 4M. Those processors
    will be sufficient and you can save some money. However, if you want
    your laptop to be a long-time investment, go with Pentium M (Centrino
    is a Pantium m plus Intel's own wifi chip). The biggest advantage of
    Centrino or Pentium M is the quiet operation and thinner design. Bu
    bear in mind one thing- there always be a later and better processor
    on the market in some time... If I were you, I would go with a
    Centrino- just for the peace of mind :)
    Greeteings
    Adam Szmacinski, Poland
     
    Adam, Nov 12, 2003
    #3
  4. Whelan

    David Chien Guest

    In general, (tech report benchmarks), a 1.4Ghz P-M runs about the same
    speed as a desktop 2Ghz P4 processor; a 1.7Ghz P-M runs about the same
    as a 2.4Ghz P4 processor.

    battery life is longer on the P-M machines however.

    So:
    Speed #1: desktop P4 CPU as fast as you can get it.
    Battery life #1: P-M CPU in a laptop that benchmarks with long test results.
     
    David Chien, Nov 12, 2003
    #4
  5. Whelan

    Erick Guest

    I would have to say for longevity and battery life... go with the Pentium-M
    (or Centrino if it includes Intel's WiFi chipset). Personally, I wouldn't
    tie myself to the internal WiFi as I like to keep my options open, and
    Centrino WiFi does not have 802.11g yet.

    Erick
     
    Erick, Nov 13, 2003
    #5
  6. Whelan

    Andrew Guest

    : I would have to say for longevity and battery life... go with the Pentium-M
    : (or Centrino if it includes Intel's WiFi chipset). Personally, I wouldn't
    : tie myself to the internal WiFi as I like to keep my options open, and
    : Centrino WiFi does not have 802.11g yet.

    Nothing wrong with an Internal WiFi card; the Centrino wireless card
    currently is just an Intel Pro/2100 wireless card plugged into the
    mini-PCI slot. My Toshiba 1415 (not a Centrino) has the same slot,
    which is very simple to get to (one screw on the bottom opens the
    compartment), and I installed the WiFi card myself. Connecting the
    internal antenna was the hardest part; disconnecting it would be the
    hardest part of replacing my 802.11b card later with an 802.11g card.
    As I understand it, a Centrino laptop would be similar.

    It's really nice not having the WiFi card sticking out the side of the
    laptop!

    Andrew
    --
    ----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
    *******************************************************************
    ----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
    ----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
    *******************************************************************
     
    Andrew, Nov 13, 2003
    #6
  7. Whelan

    Timmy Guest

    X-No-Archive: yes

    I agree. I just got an 8600 and the battery life is good compared to other
    laptops I have used in the past. PC and Powerbooks. My 1.7Ghz is pretty
    fast, but I actually think my Gateway 2Ghz Pentium 4 desktop with a little
    less memory is a little faster. It's close anyway. Long battery life is
    great to have and you can put a couple of batteries in the 8600s and really
    go for a long time. Dell's customer service has plummeted in the past few
    years however. If they spent more on customer service than on those stupid
    commercials they run on TV incessantly, they would probably have a fatter
    bottom line and happier customers.
     
    Timmy, Nov 13, 2003
    #7
  8. Whelan

    Morey G. Guest

    My two cents:
    I have a recently-purchased (Sept) Inspiron 5150 with the P4 Mobile (or was
    that Mobile P4??) 3.06GHz chip. I've got both the internal WiFi 1300 Mini
    PCI and PCMCIA Linksys WPC54G (MUCH better range) and the battery life
    compared to my older Toshiba Sat Pro 6000 is GREAT. I get a good couple of
    hours with the WiFi going and running all kinds of spreadsheets and
    graphics stuff (technical term).
    As for obsolescence, the I5150 P4 Mobile is now coming with Hyperthreading
    technology. If only I'd waited.....but then, I'd still be waiting.
    I went for the 5150 because I wanted a desktop replacement package that I
    can lug around and I wanted the incredibly nice UXGA 15" LCD (Sharp
    Electronics). I don't mind the weight and as I stated above battery life is
    pretty decent. If you want to save space and weight, go Centrino, otherwise
    I don't think performance suffers the other way.
    Regards,
    Morey G
    Inspiron 5150
    Dimension 4500, Dimension 4300, Dimension 4100, Toshiba Sat Pro 6000, Axim
    X5400MHz
     
    Morey G., Nov 14, 2003
    #8
  9. Whelan

    timeOday Guest

    Well, I can tell you one thing wrong with it, no linux support. I got a T40
    without Intel's wifi for this reason. (Are you listening Intel? I thought
    not).
     
    timeOday, Nov 14, 2003
    #9
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