Sonoma notebooks - portable power
Notebooks have been an essential tool for the workforce for years and are becoming a popular entertainment platform. While it’s rare that you’ll find a portable workstation that provides enough grunt for gaming, Intel may just have the answer with its new breed of mobile technolgy – Sonoma.
Notebooks have been an essential tool for the workforce for years. Entertainment notebooks are becoming more popular, but it’s rare that you’ll find a light, portable workstation that provides the necessary grunt, bells and whistles that a leisure system needs.
Intel may just have the answer this time, however, with its new breed of mobile technolgy – Sonoma.
While the original Centrino heralded a significant shift away from heavy, barely portable machines, the second coming, Dothan, was just a slight iteration that ramped clock speed frequencies and added an extra 1MB of L2 cache. Sonoma, however is a paradigm shift. It’s flexible enough to provide both a powerful business machine and an entertainment notebook. It all comes on the back of the move from the previous 855 generation chipset to Intel’s 915 desktop version in several different flavours, and is aimed at providing both a stable desktop platform and a neat mobile crossover.
Sonoma brings a some of the latest tech to the mobile platform, unleashing a revamped 533MHz front side bus (up from last generation’s 400MHz), DDR2 memory support, PCI-Express architecture, triband 802.11a/b/g wireless, DirectX 9-class integrated graphics, and revised CPU clock speeds up to 2.26GHz.
We’re particularly pleased with the progress made on the graphics front, with hopefully fewer jokes made in future about Intel’s less than Extreme Graphics – the new Graphics Media Accelerator 900 supports hardware Pixel Shaders for an extra boost. This consequently makes it a much better suited option for gamers on the go, compared to the previous DirectX 7- and 8- based platform.
Curious to see exactly how well these new products perform in the real world, we have two very different brand-spanking-new Sonoma notebooks ahead that we’ve put under the microscope. Read on to see exactly what each offers you for your money.
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This Group Test appeared in the April, 2005 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine