Laptop speed not a priority

Laptop speed not a priority

The computer industry last week came out with even faster laptop PCs that sport Intel's 300MHz Pentium II chips designed especially for notebook PCs.

But corporate buyers said what they really want is more durability and longevity from their notebooks.

Intel and a dozen notebook makers building machines with the new processor said speed will jump 6 to 12 per cent, depending on the application, over the 266MHz Pentium II introduced in April.

In the corporate market, the 300MHz processor will let notebook users play full-screen digital video disc (DVD) movies with better quality for sales and training presentations, officials at IBM and Dell said.

But several users said they aren't impressed by the video playback and are more worried about practical matters, such as keeping their existing machines longer - up to three years. They want to be able to plug newer models into their existing docking stations or replace their CD-ROM drives with DVD drives.

"I can't imagine why I'd need more than the 266MHz I already have; it's lightning fast," said Bruce Benham, vice president of information technology at Re/Max International, Colorado. "If you use a laptop for word processing and your calendar, it's like using a cannon to kill a fly."

"The two most important things in a laptop to me are durability and the stability of the laptop and not constantly wanting to change the design," said Janet Wilson, information systems manager at an insurance company in Phoenix.

Industry analyst Sam Albert said the fast 300MHz performance could be helpful when trying to run Windows NT on a laptop.

Ken Delaney, an analyst at Gartner Group in California, said, "there's not a driving reason to move up" to 300MHz notebooks. He recommended waiting for the 333MHz processor next year

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