Battle of the Bulge

A laptop that acts like a PDA. Intel gets slim, fast.

by From top: Doug Rosa; Davies + Starr

Part I: A laptop that acts like a PDA.

Desktop, laptop, PDA — which one has your most up-to-date files? Simplifying things is the new Sharp Actius PC-MM10, a laptop that, at 10.1 by 8.3 by 0.79 inches and 2.1 pounds, is as thin and light as any. It’s also ready to go when you are, because it automatically (and continually) syncs files with your desktop via a PDA-esque docking station. It’s powered by a 1GHz Transmeta Crusoe processor and packs in a 15GB hard drive, support for 802.11b and a 3-hour
battery. Price: approximately $1,500. www.sharp-usa.com

Part II: Intel gets slim, fast.

Blurring the distinction between full-function laptops and ones you’d actually carry is Intel’s new Centrino platform. Slimmer and more power-frugal, it doesn’t sacrifice speed or components like a DVD/CD-RW drive. Centrino
runs slower than a Pentium 4M, but Intel claims it processes more data per cycle and operates more efficiently.

BEFORE (bottom left)

ThinkPad T30

Price: $2,174

Size: 12 x 9.8 x 1.4 in.

Weight: 5 pounds

Battery Life: 2.5 hours

Processor: Mobile Pentium 4M

Speed: 1.6 or 1.8GHz

AFTER (bottom right)

ThinkPad T40

Price: $2,549

Size: 12.2 x 10 x 1 in.

Weight: 4.5 pounds

Battery Life: 4 hours

Processor: Centrino

Speed: 1.3 to 1.6GHz