Intel launches mobile Pentium 300MHz chip

A mobile Pentium II 300MHz processor was rolled out this week by Intel and, as is typical with such launches, PC makers quickly followed the announcement with word that they have new machines built around the chip available or due out soon.

The 300MHz mobile processor -- Intel's most powerful in that market -- uses a technology called Quick Start that drops power consumption to 0.4 watts when the machine is idle or inactive, the company said. The low-power mode helps preserve battery life.

The processor is based on the same microarchitecture, packaging and thermal specifications as the mobile 233MHz and 266MHz mobile Pentium II processors that were released in April, and therefore do not require new system design engineering by PC vendors, according to Intel.

These PC makers announced new machines or extensions of existing lines running on the new Pentium II 300MHz:

-- Compaq released the Armada 6500 series and announced the upcoming release of the Armada 3500 line.

The 6500 series features the Pentium II 300MHz processor and also has a 14.1in high-resolution screen, a 6.4GB hard drive, 64MB of SDRAM, a CD-ROM drive, a 56Kbps modem and a 10/100 Ethernet connection.

One version of the Armada 3500, due out later this month, comes with Intel's 266MHz Pentium II and has a 12.1in display, a 4.1GB drive and 32MB of SDRAM expandable to 160MB.

-- Hewlett-Packard is extending its OmniBook 7100 and 2100 notebook series to run on the Pentium II 300MHz. The 7150 will be out next month and will feature a 14.1n display, an 8.1GB hard drive, 64MB of SDRAM expandable to 320MB, a CD-ROM drive and Windows NT 4.0.

-- IBM enhanced its ThinkPad line with the 380Z series. The new 300MHz processor includes a 32MB hard drive, a 13.3in display and a CD-ROM, operating on Windows 98. A version operating on Windows NT 4.0 is due out later and will offer the same hard drive and display.

-- NEC extended its Versa SX and LX series, which will include models running on the Pentium 300MHz.

The Versa SX comes with that processor, a 14.1in screen, a 3.2GB hard drive and 64MB of RAM.

-- Dell will have out its Inspiron 7000 with a 15in display in early October. The notebook, which also comes in 14.1in and 13.3in models, has up to 8GB of hard drive, a 56Kbps modem and a full-size keyboard.