Processor battle: 10 high-end notebooks tested

Processor battle: 10 high-end notebooks tested

Summary:  High-end notebooks  Notebook reviews: Acer Travelmate 800 Acer Ferrari 3000LMi AOpen B165 Dell Latitude D505 IBM ThinkPad G40 Pioneer Powerbook AMD 8355 QDI Alacritas 520-K8 Sony Vaio PCG-GRT40  Toshiba Tecra M2 TPG Widescreen Notebook  Specifications How we tested Look out for...

 High-end notebooks

 Notebook reviews:
 Acer Travelmate 800
 Acer Ferrari 3000LMi
 AOpen B165
 Dell Latitude D505
 IBM ThinkPad G40
 Pioneer Powerbook AMD 8355
 QDI Alacritas 520-K8
 Sony Vaio PCG-GRT40
 Toshiba Tecra M2
 TPG Widescreen Notebook

 How we tested
 Look out for...
 Sample scenarios
 Editor's choice
 Final words
 About RMIT
Don't forget the alt TAGIf you're looking for a high-end desktop replacement notebook, you've got a choice of processors and even a 64-bit option. Intel or AMD: whose processor reigns supreme?

The last time we reviewed notebooks was October 2003. In that review they were ultralight portable sub-2kg units, this time around they are virtually the opposite: ultra-bulky all-in-one notebooks designed to replace a desktop PC. And they are getting very close to that goal, with impressive LCD screen sizes, integrated DVD burners, and very quick processors translating to the all-important faster application response times and multitasking capabilities that users demand from the modern PC system.

We have also introduced a twist into the mix. We opened the field and asked vendtors to submit either an AMD notebook or an Intel notebook, or both if they had them. We thought with several vendors now producing notebooks using processors from both manufacturers, it would be interesting to compare how HP, for example, differentiated their Intel- and AMD-based products. We were surprised to discover that Acer was the only manufacturer to send us one of each for review. The AMD camp has vendors such as QDI, TPG, and Pioneer and the Intel camp has Sony, Toshiba, Dell, and IBM.

HP, LG, and Xenon were also invited but didn't submit. So of the notebooks we received, here's how they went.

Topics: Processors, Dell, Hardware, IBM, Intel, Laptops, Mobility

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  • I'm surprised that in a 'high-end desktop replacement notebook' category Dell didn't think to submit their new Inspiron 9100.

    To quote from Reuben Lee, ZDNet, 04 March 2004

    'The Inspiron 9100 is probably one of the best notebooks around that can truly replace the desktop PC, offering speed and excellent 3D graphics performance.'

    Having just purchased one I would have to agree.

    I would have truly liked to have seen this cat set amongst these pigeons.

    What was Dell thinking?
  • Hi... great review... although a little thin on specific details. I'm just wondering if it is really fair to strip any additional memory if (for the indicated price) that is what is included in the package. In the end, are we not buying the laptop for the package and performance as the manufacturers provide and intend to?

    Also, I'm very interested in the new LG/IBM Xnote series laptops. Are there any specific reasons as to why LG didn't provide you with their latest laptop? Could it be due to the lack of supply (as I have learnt that they have all but been sold out)? Could you please do a review on the LG laptop, separately, and verify their claim of having 10 hours of battery life?

    Thank you!
  • I've just bought the A-open B165 and am very happy with it. This system can be bought without an operating system, with any size 3.5" hard disk (E-IDE or SATA), any Pentium IV Celeron or Northwood processor and any combination of RAM modules. The Optical drive is removable and can be replaced with a DVD-writer, and the monitor can be removed (for those who just want to carry their work system off-base every night and take it home to plug into an external CRT/LCD). All up, it's an extremely flexible platform and suits my needs very well. As for the lack of Infra-Red, Bluetooth, PCMCIA and Compact Flash: why be paying for these 'feautures' if you're not going to use them? It does have a parallel printer port, Firewire and 5 USB 2.0 ports and that suits me just fine.