Laptops Leap Forward in Power and Battery Life

Review: Intel core duo-based units from Dell, HP and Lenovo make system strides.

As IT managers begin to evaluate laptops equipped with Intels Core Duo dual-core processors for their organizations, theyll notice a number of system improvements, including more processing power and battery life.

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eWEEK Labs recently tested four Core Duo-based laptops, in different classes, to see how they performed: Dells widescreen Latitude D620, Hewlett-Packards HP Compaq nc6320, Gateways M465-E and Lenovos ultraportable ThinkPad X60s (which received an eWEEK Analysts Choice award for its outstanding battery life and features).

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead more here about how eWEEK Labs tests notebooks.

During tests, we used Business Applications Performance Corp.s MobileMark 2005 test to gauge the battery life on all three units. BAPCOs MobileMark measures a systems battery life and performance with a core office productivity test that models a mobile professionals workload.

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One thing we noted was how this new generation of portable systems represents a big step in connectivity. When Lenovos Z60t came out earlier this year with a wireless broadband EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized) module, it was a trailblazer.

Just a few months later, all but one of the laptops we looked at for this evaluation had WWAN (wireless WAN) modules to connect to either Verizons EvDO or Cingulars HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) cellular network. (The Gateway system was the exception.)

WWAN service was fast in San Francisco, where we tested the laptops, but it may not be as sprightly in all cities (depending on coverage).

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IT managers may find WWAN service cost-prohibitive for what it offers (for now, anyway): Cingular has a $59.99-per-month unlimited-access plan for customers who already have a voice contract; Verizon offers a similar $59.99 plan for subscribers.

While analysts at eWEEK Labs are big fans of wireless broadband and the freedom it allows, we are hoping the price of WWAN services will continue to drop.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read the full review of HP Compaq Nc6320.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read the full review of Latitude D620.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read the full review of Thinkpad X60s.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read the full review of Gateway M465-E.

Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at anne_chen@ziffdavis.com.

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