Pentium 4 Hits the Road

Intel has a vision of the future. And what it sees is its Pentium chips being used in more laptop computers.

Not too bad in the prognostication department considering the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company Tuesday took the wraps off three new Mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor-Ms.

Available at speeds of 1.8, 1.5 and 1.4 GHz (priced at $637, $268, and $198 respectively), the company is counting on the processors to help to usher in more than 30 new laptops, from full-size to sleek thin-and-light models for both consumers and business users. Intel said the systems would be available from leading PC makers at prices starting at $1,300.

The “M” signifies that the processor has been designed for use in laptops and includes advanced performance and power management features especially suited for the mobile computer user. The P4-M includes support for the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology, which helps extend battery life and multitasking.

And here’s another prediction for you. The No. 1 chipmaker said notebooks should represent 30 percent of the overall PC market by 2004. Intel’s own survey of computer usage found that laptop users love to take them out for a spin every once in a while.

“It’s not just a laptop, it’s a lifestyle,” said Intel Sales and Marketing Group vice president and director of Consumer Marketing Ann Lewnes. “Intel mobile processor-based laptops provide consumers with more choices to fit their lifestyles, along with the freedom and flexibility to do what they want, where they want, when they want.”

Several of the laptops using the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor-M will include built-in wireless capabilities such as 802.11b and Bluetooth radios. Intel said as wireless features become common in laptops, consumers will experience a new level of mobility. Many airports, hotels and coffee shops have created “hot spots” where these laptops can be connected to the Internet wirelessly.

The chip making giant has recently spent a lot of time on the launch pad. The company Tuesday made its new 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) Xeon processor available.

In the last three months, Intel has shown off its first mobile Pentium 4 processors and the first Xeon processors based on its NetBurst microarchitecture as well as introducing several products based on Intel’s new XScale core for cell phones, PDAs and network processing.

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