You've likely seen the ads for Intel's Centrino line of notebook processors. But, in an overwhelming sea of technology marketing you may not have really noticed that there's indeed something new in notebook computing.

For several years, innovation has been sparse, and faster speed is all that seemed to matter.

This has finally changed with Intel's release of a Central Processor Unit (CPU) that really brings something of value to the table for notebook computer users. The Centrino line of processors is specifically designed for mobile computing, and is now the only chip in its class.

What is Centrino?

This new CPU isn't really innovative in the common sense of the word, but instead is a convergence of solutions for two needs unique to notebook computers: portability and longevity.

  1. Naturally, the Centrino is faster than the line it replaces, but at the same time it actually uses much less power. The result of the reduced power consumption is a substantial increase in battery life. While marketing claims of up to eight-hours of battery life are common, testing indicates that 5:00 to 5:30 is much more likely in real world use. Still, this is an impressive, and needed, increase in batter life that finally satisfies the needs of the majority of notebook computer users.
  2. Another technology that is becoming more and more desirable for notebook computer users is wireless networking, (commonly referred to as Wi-Fi) and the Centrino has this capability built in. While not everyone has a need for wireless networking just yet, the legions or wireless devotees are growing quickly. Incorporating Wi-Fi into the notebook offers user the ability to take advantage of this technology whenever they are ready. More importantly, they can do so without having to purchase and install third party hardware. This will save the typical user time, potential installation frustrations and the resulting reduction in battery life that is associated with using most external Wi-Fi antennas.

With this unique combination of features, (speed, Wi-Fi and battery life) Centrino is likely to become a great success, and I cannot think of a reason to buy a new notebook with any other processing chip.

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale