Pioneer jumps the Napa gun

Pioneer jumps the Napa gun

Local notebook makers are lined up to display their wares when Intel officially launches its Centrino Duo mobile technology platform, previously code-named Napa, into the Australian market tomorrow.

Jumping the gun, however, Pioneer Computers Australia has already unveiled the specifications of its DreamBook 550.

Managing director, Jeff Li, had previously told ARN that he couldn't give away any information until the launch. But while he wouldn't go into the specifics of its complete Napa range, the specs of its DreamBook 550 have come to light a day earlier than anticipated.

Features include a 15-inch XGA TFT screen with 1024 x 768 resolution, an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, Full Direct 9.0 support and hardware motion compensation support for DVD playback, Azalia high-definition audio interface, virtual 7.1 channel audio output, two built-in speakers and four USB 2.0 ports.

Li had also previously mentioned a gaming-oriented notebook, featuring a 2GHz Centrino Duo processor, high-end graphics card and 17-inch display that is anticipated as a future release.

"People will have to wait for that [notebook]," he said. "We won't have the faster processors for at least another month. I know on the factory side they are working very hard on it, but getting the high-end [processors] is always a bit complicated at first."

It is expected that lower-spec notebooks, based on processors such as the T2300 (1.66GHz), will be available from other vendors from the launch date including Altech, Protac, Moebius, Mitac and ASI.

Already launched into overseas markets - notably at the recent International Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas - Centrino Duo boasts a faster frontside bus (667MHz, up from 533MHz), memory that matches the frontside bus speed, a new chipset (the 945 GM/PM), and Intel's new wireless 802.11 a/b/g technology.

The processors come in two main lines: the T line for mainstream notebooks, and the L line of low-voltage models intended for ultra-light laptops. The T line will range from the 1.66GHz T2300 to the 2.16GHz T2600; the L line will initially have two variants, the 1.5GHz L2300 and the 1.66GHz L2400.

Danny Allen and Carla Thornton from PC World (US) contributed to this report.

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