The battle of the notebooks

Markham, Ont.-based distributor Supercom provided CDN with two notebooks for review. The first was an Asus A2000 running AMD’s latest mobile Athlon 64 chip, while the second was the company’s own Touch Z7100 system with the latest Centrino mobile technology, code-named Sonoma.

Both notebooks

are top-notch in terms of power compared to previous incarnations of processors. Applications that used to take seconds to start now take a mere instant.

Credit goes to AMD’s Hyper-Transport technology, which helps users to multi-task applications better. The AMD HyperTransport technology smoothes out I/O bottlenecks and boosts bandwidth. This technology can be a godsend if you are on the road working.

Power factor

I used the Asus AMD notebook on a flight from Toronto to Ottawa recently and was able to work on stories and have a DVD running in the background. The unit was also equipped with an ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics chip, which improved the performance greatly.

Meanwhile, the Intel Centrino-based Touch system was equally as powerful. Where the Intel chip may have outperformed the Athlon 64 was in Internet speed and battery life.

The Airport card built into the Touch unit was simply outstanding and lightning quick to go online. With battery life, the Centrino chips have an edge on Athlon. Both machines’ batteries lasted long enough to run a full-length DVD movie, but at the end the Touch system had another two hours of juice left, while the Asus system was under 30 minutes.

Intel made some great strides improving clock speed on the Centrino processor.

In terms of portability, however, the honours go to the Asus product. It was much more cumbersome to use the wide-screen Touch system on a plane and in a conference hall than the Asus machine.

Resellers will be able to meet the needs of business users more than adequately with either machine.

Besides battery life, there is no visible difference between the Centrino processor or the Athlon chip in terms of raw performance.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.
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